Amphetamine, a sympathomimetic drug, can elevate the body temperature by causing enhancement of endogenous lipolysis. This study was designed to examine whether this drug could induce the expression of the genes of heat shock proteins (HSP) in different tissues. Subcutaneous administration of amphetamine (10 mg/kg wt) to the rats increased the rectal temperature of the rats to 42 degrees C within 60 min. After 3 hr rats were sacrificed; and heart, lung, liver, kidney and brain tissue were removed to examine the induction of mRNAs for HSPs by Northern blot analysis using cDNA probes of 27 kDa, 70 kDa and 89 kDa HSPs. The results of this study indicate striking regional and cell type differences in the pattern of induction of the HSP mRNAs by amphetamine suggesting that different organs and cell types respond differently to amphetamine.