Increased serum levels of heat shock protein 70 are associated with low risk of coronary artery disease

Jianhui Zhu*, Arshed A. Quyyumi, Hongsheng Wu, Gyorgy Csako, David Rott, Alexandra Zalles-Ganley, Jibike Ogunmakinwa, Julian Halcox, Stephen E. Epstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - Previous studies suggest that heat shock protein (HSP) 60 has a contributory role in atherosclerosis development. We examined whether circulating HSP70 protein and anti-HSP70 antibodies are associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods and Results - Blood samples from 421 patients (62% men, mean age 57 years) evaluated for CAD by coronary angiography were tested. Serum HSP70 was detectable in 67% of study subjects with levels ranging from 0.2 to 27.1 ng/mL (mean, 1.08; median, 0.5). HSP70 levels were higher in non-CAD patients than CAD patients (median, 0.72 versus 0.34; P=0.0006). Individuals with HSP70 levels above the median (0.5 ng/mL) had half the risk of CAD than individuals with levels below the median (adjusted odds ratio, 0.52; 95% confidence limit, 0.32 to 0.86). The association of high HSP70 levels with low CAD risk was independent of traditional CAD risk factors (P=0.011). Disease severity (number of diseased vessels) was also inversely associated with HSP70 protein levels (P=0.010). The adjusted odds ratio of having multivessel disease for patients with high HSP70 protein levels was 0.54 (95% confidence limit, 0.36 to 0.81). In contrast, no association between anti-HSP70 IgG seropositivity and the prevalence of CAD was found (P=0.916). Conclusions - These data provide the first evidence that high levels of human HSP70 are associated with the low CAD risk, probably through its multiple protective effects on a cell's response to stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1059
Number of pages5
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibodies
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heat shock protein
  • Protective effect


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