Liver glucocorticoid receptor and heat shock protein 70 levels in rats exposed to different stress models
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The aim of the present study was to define the stress-induced pattern of cytosolic glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and Hsp70 protein in the liver of male Wistar rats exposed to different stress models: acute (2 h/day) immobilization or cold (4 degrees C); chronic (21 days) isolation, crowding, swimming or isolation plus swimming and combined (chronic plus acute stress). Changes in plasma levels of corticosterone were studied by radioimmunoassay (RIA). The results obtained by Western immunoblotting showed that both acute stressors led to a significant decrease in cytosolic GR and Hsp70 levels. Compared to acute stress effects, only a weak decrease in the levels of GR and Hsp70 was demonstrated in chronic stress models. Chronically stressed rats, which were subsequently exposed to novel acute stressors (immobilization or cold), showed a lower extent of GR down-regulation when compared to acute stress. The exception was swimming, which partially restores this down-regulation. The observed ch...anges in the levels of these major stress-related cellular proteins in liver cytosol lead to the conclusion that chronic stressors compromise intracellular GR down-regulation in the liver.