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*Yogender Aggarwal1, Tarana Gupta2, Rakesh Kumar Sinha1

1Department of Biomedical Instrumentation, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra,  Ranchi, INDIA
2Department of Medicine, Pt. B. D. Sharma, Post Graduate Institute of Medical  Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana, INDIA


Stress is an adaptive response to changes or challenges in the mammalís homeostasis involving a variety of interlocking anatomical, physiological, biochemical, immunological and behavioral adaptation mechanisms in an attempt to maintain a state of equilibrium. Stress stimuli are either external or internal environmental factors, which evoke the stress response. Environmental heat is one of the well-known stressors to mankind. The problems of heat-afflicted illness are receiving increased importance in view of the current estimates of global warming and its impact on biological systems. Thermal environmental stress is thus known to cause variety of heat illnesses, which results in the multiorgan dysfunction. However, physiologically, the primary response to the heat is the immediate rise in Tb that play the central role in stimulating the mechanism necessary to heat dissipation, vasodilation and sweating through preoptic area of the central nervous system. Genetically, heat shock results in cell stress response via changes in stress gene expression and in the activity of expressed proteins. This stress response characteristically includes an increase in thermotolerance that is temporally associated with increased expression of heat shock protein (HSP) family. Further, adjustment to peripheral blood flow is one of the major contributing factors in heat dissipation and one of the HSPs, the HSP32 (also known as heme oxygenase (HO)-1) is significantly participating in body heat transfer via regulation of blood flow. Therefore, the review will describe the body thermoregulation both physiologically and genetically with the role of HO-1 in body heat balance and in the maintenance of body homeostasis.

Keywords: Heat Illness; Heat Stress; Heme Oxygenase; Heat Shock Protein; Thermotolerance; Vasodilation.

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