Heat shock protein expression in cerebral vessels after subarachnoid hemorrhage

Samuel D. Macomson, Colleen M. Brophy, Allison W. Miller, Valerie A. Harris, Ellen G. Shaver, Warren R. Selman, R. Loch Macdonald, E. Sander Connolly, Robert J. Dempsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The mechanisms of cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remain controversial. Recent data have implicated two small heat shock proteins (HSPs), namely HSP20 and HSP27, in the regulation of vascular tone. Increases in the phosphorylation of HSP20 are associated with vasorelaxation, and increases in the phosphorylation of HSP27 are associated with impaired vasorelaxation. Therefore, we hypothesized that alterations in the expression and/or phosphorylation of these two small HSPs might play a role in cerebral vasospasm after SAH. METHODS: A rat model of endovascular perforation was used to induce SAH. Middle cerebral arteries were harvested from control animals, sham-treated animals, and animals with SAH, 48 hours after SAH induction. Dose-response curves for endothelium-independent (sodium nitroprusside, 10-8 to 10-4 mol/L) and endothelium-dependent (bradykinin, 10-10 to 10-5 mol/L) relaxing agents were recorded ex vivo. Physiological responses were correlated with the expression and phosphorylation of HSP20 and HSP27 by using one- and two-dimensional immunoblots. RESULTS: There was impaired endothelium-independent and endothelium-dependent relaxation in cerebral vessels after SAH. These changes were associated with decreased expression of both total and phosphorylated HSP20 and increases in the amount of phosphorylated HSP27. CONCLUSION: In this model, impaired relaxation of cerebral vessels after SAH was associated with increases in the amount of phosphorylated HSP27 and decreases in the expression and phosphorylation of HSP20. These data are consistent with alterations in the expression and phosphorylation of these small HSPs in other models of vasospasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-211
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002


  • Endothelium-dependent relaxation
  • Endothelium-independent relaxation
  • Endovascular perforation
  • Heat shock protein
  • Rat
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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