The effect of temperature and heat shock protein 72 on the ex vivo acute inflammatory response in monocytes

The acute inflammatory response to active or passive activities that increase body temperature may aid to reduce chronic low-grade inflammation. This study investigates the impact of temperature and extracellular heat shock protein 72 (eHsp72) on the acute intracellular Hsp72 (iHsp72) and interleukin-6 (iIL-6) response in monocytes. Whole blood was incubated for 2 h at 37.0 °C, 38.5 °C and 40.0 °C, in the absence or presence of 0.5 μg/ml eHsp72. Flow cytometry was used to assess iHsp72 and iIL-6 expression in total monocytes and the three monocyte subsets. Incubation at 40.0 °C (p < 0.001) but not 38.5 °C (p = 0.085) increased iHsp72 expression when compared with 37.0 °C, while there was no effect of temperature on iIL-6 expression (p = 0.635). Following incubation with eHsp72, the expression of iHsp72 in classical monocytes was reduced at all temperatures (p < 0.001), while there was no effect of eHsp72 on iIL-6 expression (p = 0.071). Large temperature elevations are needed to induce an acute iHsp72 response in monocytes. In addition, contrary to its suggested role as a danger signal for the innate immune system, eHsp72 reduced iHsp72 and iIL-6 expression in monocytes.