Heat precondition is a potential strategy to combat hepatic injury triggered by severe heat stress

Avinash Gupta, Dolly Sharma, Harshita Gupta, Ajeet Singh, Daipayan Chowdhury, Ramesh Chand Meena, Lilly Ganju, Bhuvnesh Kumar
Life Sciences 2021 January 19, : 119094

AIM: Environmental heat stress alters physiological and biochemical functions which leads to multiorgan dysfunction including severe hepatic injury in animals. We hypothesize that heat preconditioning can be potential intervention in combating heat illnesses.

MAIN METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to moderate heat stress, severe heat stress and heat preconditioning in heat simulation chamber. Mean arterial pressure, heart rate, skin and core temperature were monitored in pre and post heat exposed animals. After stress exposure, blood for hemodynamic and liver tissue for liver function tests, oxidative stress, inflammatory variables and structural studies were collected from rats. Hepatic mitochondria were isolated to study the key structural alterations and functional changes by transmission electron microscopy.

KEY FINDINGS: The effect of HPC shows improvement in time to attain the core temperature, weight loss, blood pressure and heart rate in rats. Results exhibited decreased levels of liver function tests, elevated levels of free radicals and inflammatory cytokines in heat exposed liver as compared with heat preconditioned animals. Expression levels of mitochondrial heat shock protein 60, superoxide dismutase 1 and uncoupling protein 1 along with activity of electron transport chain complexes I-V were examined and found to be increased in heat preconditioning as compared to heat stressed animals. Morphological studies of liver parenchyma demonstrated reduction in structural deterioration of hepatic lobules and restoration of mitochondrial structural integrity in heat preconditioned rats.

SIGNIFICANCE: Present study suggests that heat preconditioning intervention plays a crucial role in protection against heat induced hepatic injury in animals.

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