Hear shock proteins (HSPs), originally identified as heat-inducible gene products, are a family of highly conserved proteins that respond to a wide variety of stress including oxidative stress. Although both acute and chronic oxidative stress have been well demonstrated to induce HSP responses, Rae evidence is available whether increased HSP levels provide enhanced protection against oxidative stress under elevated yet sublethal temperatures. We studied relationships between oxidative stress and HSPs in a physiological model by using Garra rufa (doctor fish), a fish species naturally acclimatized to different thermal conditions. We compared fish naturally living in a hot spring with relatively high water temperature (34.4 +/- 0.6 degrees C) to those living in normal river water temperature (25.4 +/- 4.7 degrees C), and found that levels of all the studied HSPs (HSP70, RSPB, HSP90, HSC70 and GRP75) were higher in fish living in elevated water temperature compared with normal river water temperature. In contrast, indicators of oxidative stress, including protein carbonyls and lipid hydroperoxides, were decreased in fish living in the elevated temperature, indicating that HSP levels are inversely associated with oxidative stress. The present results provide evidence that physiologically increased HSP levels provide protection against oxidative stress and enhance cyLoprotection. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.