OBJECT: The intracellular action of the antidepressant, venlafaxine, was studied in C6-gliomas using heat shock protein 70(HSP70) immunocytochemistry and HSP70 Western blots because HSP70 is associated with stress and depression. METHODS: To examine how the glucocorticoid affects the expression of HSP70 in nerve cells, the rat C6 glioma cell was treated with dexamethasone for 6 hours. In addition, venlafaxine was administered to the experimental groups of C6 glioma cells for 1, 6, 24, and 72 hours each, after which the expression of HSP70 was investigated. Finally, venlafaxine and dexamethasone were simultaneously administered to the experimental groups for 1, 6, 24, and 72 hours, followed by an investigation of the expression of HSP70. RESULTS: The short term(1 hour) venlafaxine treatment significantly increased the level of HSP70 expression. The short term treatment of venlafaxine with dexamethasone also increased the level of HSP70 expression but this reduction was not statistically significant. The long term(72 hours) venlafaxine with dexamethasone treatment significantly reduced the level of HSP70 expression. The long term treatment of venlafaxine also reduced the level of HSP70 expression but this reduction was not statistically significant. Dexamethasone(10uM, 6hours) did not affect the level of HSP70 expression compared with controls. CONCLUSION: Venlafaxine increases the expression of HSP70 at short term treatment, but prolonged treatment with dexamethasone suppresses the expression of HSP70.