Effect of moderate and severe heat stress on avian embryonic Hsp70 gene expression
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Stress response is a universal mechanism developed by all organisms to deal with adverse changes in the environment, which lead to the synthesis of heat shock proteins (Hsps). In this study, the effect of moderate (41degreesC) and severe (44degreesC) heat stress on Hsp70 transcript expression pattern was investigated during chicken embryogenesis. Acute exposure to severe heat stress for one hour resulted in a fifteen-fold increase in Hsp70 mRNA levels. The return of stressed embryos to normal incubation temperature resulted in Hsp70 mRNA levels five-fold higher than control after three hours and normal levels after six hours. Moderate heat stress did not induce enhancements on Hsp70 mRNA levels. The spatial expression of Hsp70 transcripts was detected in embryos under normal incubation conditions. Whole-mount in situ hybridization analysis showed that Hsp70 transcripts were constitutively present in somite and in distinct encephalic domains (predominantly in prosencephalon and mesencephalon areas) of the chicken embryo. These results showed that Hsp70 induction is dependent on incubation temperature conditions, suggesting that early chicken embryos may induce a quick emergence response to cope with severe heat stress by increasing Hsp70 mRNA levels.