[en] The 27-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp27) is constitutively expressed in many neurons of the brainstem and spinal cord, is strongly induced in glial cells in response to ischemia, seizures, or spreading depression, and is selectively induced in neurons after axotomy. Here, the expression of Hsp27 was examined in brains of adult rats from 1.5 hours to 6 days after brief hyperthermic stress (core body temperature of 42 degrees C for 15 minutes). Twenty-four hours following hyperthermia, Western blot analysis showed that Hsp27 was elevated in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, and brainstem. Immunohistochemistry for Hsp27 revealed a time-dependent, but transient, increase in the level of Hsp27 immunoreactivity (Hsp27 IR) in neuroglia and neurons. Hsp27 IR was detected in astrocytes throughout the brain and in Bergmann glia of the cerebellum from 3 hours to 6 days following heat shock. Peak levels were apparent at 24 hours, gradually declining thereafter. In addition, increases in Hsp27 IR were detected in the ependyma and choroid plexus. Hyperthermia induced Hsp27 IR in neurons of the subfornical organ and the area postrema within 3 hours and reached a maximum by 24 hours with a return to control levels 4-6 days after hyperthermia. Specific populations of hypothalamic neurons also showed Hsp27 IR after hyperthermia. These results demonstrate that hyperthermia induces transient expression of Hsp27 in several types of neuroglia and specific populations of neurons. The pattern of induced Hsp27 IR suggests that some of the activated cells are involved in physiological responses related to body fluid homeostasis and temperature regulation.