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Mild hypothermia (32°C) is routinely used in medical practice to alleviate hypoxic ischemic damage, however, the mechanisms that underlie its protective effects remain uncertain. Using a systems approach based on genome-wide expression screens, reporter assays and biochemical studies, we find that cellular hypothermia response is associated with the augmentation of major stress-inducible transcription factors Nrf2 and HIF1Α affecting the antioxidant system and hypoxia response pathways, respectively. At the same time, NF-κB, a transcription factor involved in the control of immune and inflammatory responses, was not induced by hypothermia. Furthermore, mild hypothermia did not trigger unfolded protein response. Lower temperatures (27°C and 22°C) did not activate Nrf2 and HIF1A pathways as efficiently as mild hypothermia. Current findings are discussed in the context of the thermodynamic hypothesis of therapeutic hypothermia. We argue that the therapeutic effects are likely to stem both from metabolic suppression (inhibitory component) and augmentation of stress tolerance (activating component). We argue that systems coping with cellular stressors are plausible targets of therapeutic hypothermia and deserve more attention in clinical hypothermia research.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Free radical biology & medicine
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