SUMMARY Expression of Hsp73 and Hsp72 in four tissues of the naturally anoxia-tolerant western painted turtle ( Chrysemys picta ) was investigated in response to a 24 h forced dive and following 1 h recovery. Of the tissues examined, brain and liver displayed approximately threefold and sevenfold higher basal Hsp73 expression than heart and skeletal muscle. Basal Hsp72 expression was relatively low in all tissues examined. After the 24 h forced dive and 1 h recovery, Hsp73 expression did not differ significantly from basal expression with the exception of liver, where expression decreased significantly after 1 h recovery. Hsp72 expression was unchanged in liver following a 24 h dive; however, it increased twofold in brain and threefold in heart and skeletal muscle. Dive-induced Hsp72 expression was found to correlate inversely with basal Hsp73 expression. Following 1 h recovery, Hsp72 expression was significantly elevated in all tissues above levels in dived animals. These data indicate a tissue-specific pattern of Hsp73 and Hsp72 expression in the western painted turtle during both unstressed and stressed conditions.