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Heat shock proteins: protective effect and potential therapeutic use (review).

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The heat shock proteins (hsps) are induced by a variety of stressful stimuli and their overexpression has been shown to protect cells both in vitro and in vivo against such stimuli, as well as against stimuli-inducing apoptosis. The potential therapeutic benefit of elevating hsp levels in individuals with, for example, cerebral or cardiac ischaemia or neurodegenerative diseases has led to the identification of specific methods of inducing hsp expression in a non-stressful manner. These include pharmacological procedures and cytokine treatment to elevate endogenous hsp levels and the development of viral vectors to deliver exogenous hsp genes. The advantages and disadvantages of each of these methods and their ultimate therapeutic potential are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Molecular Pathology, The Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, University College London Medical School, The Windeyer Building, 46 Cleveland Street, London W1P 6DB, UK.

Publication date: October 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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