Heat or cold chronic stress affects organ weights and Hsp70 levels in chicken embryos
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This study was carried out with the objective of evaluating the effect of heat (38.8 degreesC) or cold (35.8 degreesC) stress on chicken embryo development and tissues Hsp70 levels, after the 13th day of incubation. Embryo weight (percent egg weight), organ weight (percent embryo weight) and Hsp70 levels (ng Hsp70 mug(-1) total protein) in different tissues (liver, breast muscle, heart, lungs, brain and kidney) were studied at the end of incubation. Cold stress induced a lower embryo weight and lower kidney and lungs weights, whereas heart and liver were lighter in heat-stressed embryos. An interaction between temperature and age was obtained only for Hsp70 levels in kidney and heart. Cold-stressed embryos showed higher Hsp70 levels in the brain, lungs and liver; a decrease in brain and breast muscle Hsp70 levels was seen from the 19th to 20th days in control embryos. Hsp70 levels increased with age in kidneys of control embryos and in heart of heat- and cold-stressed embryos. In conclusion, this study showed that chicken embryo organ weights are affected by incubation temperature, and that Hsp70 expression is tissue dependent (higher levels being seen in the brain) being cold-stress more effective in increasing Hsp70 levels in most studied tissues.