Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are expressed or increased in response to various biological stresses. Moreover, these 'stress proteins' seem to be expressed by some cells living in physiological conditions. From then on, they could play an important physiological role in normal cell functioning. The best-known physiological role of these HSP proteins is to act as 'molecular chaperones'. In this context, we have investigated the immunohistochemical expression of HSP27, HSP70, HSP90 and HSP110 in 10 human adult salivary glands. To highlight the presence of RNAm encoding HSP70, an in situ hybridization was performed. In our material, HSP27 was strongly expressed in the cytoplasm of striated duct cells and in some myoepithelial cells. The same localization was less stained for HSP70 and HSP90. The immunocytochemical reaction was weak or negative for HSP110 in striated ducts. HSPs were not expressed in acinic cells. In situ hybridization gave a positive signal in striated ducts with a probe encoding HSP70. Epithelial cells of the striated ducts and myoepithelial cells expressed HSP27, HSP70 and HSP90. These HSPs probably act in part as molecular chaperones for protein synthesis, transport and for several interactions between HSPs and different proteins.