Heat Shock Proteins: Naturally Produced Protection

In the brain and nervous system, our bodies initiate a heat shock response in reaction to injury or toxic conditions: (iv.47)

Figure IV.3: Heat Shock Response - A Natural Defense System in the Brain

Figure IV.3: Heat Shock Response - A Natural Defense System in the Brain

Once vitagenes such as HO-1 are activated they produce heat shock proteins (HSPs) and antioxidants to protect cells from damage and death. Polyphenol compounds and nutrients in turmeric (e.g., curcumin, vitamin C, and vitamin E) promote the heat shock response. (iv.546-47)

HSPs can help in a number of conditions affecting brain health. These include: (iv.47-48)

Table IV.2: How Do Heat Shock Proteins Help the Brain?
CONDITION STRESS PROTEIN EFFECT

STROKE
(cerebral ischemia)

HSP27

HSP70

  • Produced in neurons, blood vessel lining, and glial cells around areas affected by stroke in the brain.
  • Inhibits activation of inflammatory kinase proteins.
  • Protects cells from damage or death from excitotoxic inflammation and free radicals.

SEIZURES

STROKE
(cerebral ischemia)

HSP10 and HSP60

  • Protects brain cells during situations of low oxygen and glucose energy levels.

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

PARKINSON'S DISEASE

STROKE

(cerebral ischemia)

Ubiquitin

  • Helps other HSP proteins fold correctly.
  • Targets and helps get rid of damaged and abnormal proteins (including misfolded HSPs).
  • Prevents excess protein accumulation.
Heme-oxygenase. (iv.47)
Such as the TNF-alpha cytokine protein. (iv.47)
Specifically, JUN and p38 kinases. (iv.47)

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