Heat Shock Proteins and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Lei ZhangEmail author
  • He Li
  • Robert J. Ursano
Part of the Heat Shock Proteins book series (HESP, volume 5)


Heat shock proteins (HSPs), a highly conserved family of stress response proteins, play a very important role in traumatic stress associated with Post-traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric disorder observed in a high number of combat veterans and in others exposed to natural disasters, traffic accidents, terrorist attacks, etc. In this chapter, we will briefly review the expression of HSPs in the central nervous system (CNS) and discuss the underlying molecular mechanisms of HSPs in PTSD. We will also present evidence regarding the possible role of HSPs in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) trafficking and in the regulation of p11, a PTSD-associated protein. Advances in the understanding of the functions of HSPs have reached a point where clinical trials are warranted to determine the role of HSPs in the treatment and diagnosis of PTSD


HSP CNS GR translocation p11 mitochondrial function 



central nervous system


glucocorticoid receptors


glucocorticoid response elements


Post-traumatic Stress Disorder



We would like to thank Anna Chen for her help in editing the manuscript and images.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryCenter for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services, University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA

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