Heat shock proteins (Hsp) play critical roles in the body’s self-defense under a variety of stresses, including heat shock, oxidative stress, radiation, and wounds, through the regulation of folding and functions of relevant cellular proteins. Exercise increases the levels of Hsp through elevated temperature, hormones, calcium fluxes, reactive oxygen species (ROS), or mechanical deformation of tissues. Isotonic contractions and endurance- type activities tend to increase Hsp60 and Hsp70. Eccentric muscle contractions lead to phosphorylation and translocation of Hsp25/27. Exercise-induced transient increases of Hsp inhibit the generation of inflammatory mediators and vascular inflammation. Metabolic disorders (hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia) are associated with type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune disease), type 2 diabetes (the common type of diabetes usually associated with obesity), and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Metabolic disorders activate HSF/Hsp pathway, which was associated with oxidative stress, increased generation of inflammatory mediators, vascular inflammation, and cell injury. Knock down of heat shock factor-1 (HSF1) reduced the activation of key inflammatory mediators in vascular cells. Accumulating lines of evidence suggest that the activation of HSF/Hsp induced by exercise or metabolic disorders may play a dual role in inflammation. The benefits of exercise on inflammation and metabolism depend on the type, intensity, and duration of physical activity. 1. Introduction The stress response is a self-protective mechanism against environmental stresses which is mediated via a group of evolutionally conserved proteins, heat shock proteins (Hsp). Hsp regulate the conformation and functions of a large number of cellular proteins in order to protect the body from stress . The expression of Hsp is mainly modulated by a common transcription factor, heat shock factor-1 (HSF1). The activity, translocation, and expression of HSF1 respond to environmental stresses, such as heat shock, wounds, oxidative stress, and radiation . Exercise is associated with transient elevations of Hsp expression, body temperature, hormones, and oxidative stress, which may reduce inflammatory mediators . Metabolic disorders in common chronic diseases (diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease) are associated with a prolonged stress response as a consequence of oxidative stress, altered hormone levels, vascular inflammation, and cell injury . Type 1 diabetes is a common autoimmune disease characterized by pancreatic -cell
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