Induced therapeutic hypothermia is the one of the most effective tools against brain injury and inflammation. Even though its beneficial effects are well known, there are a lot of pitfalls to overcome, since the potential adverse effects of systemic hypothermia are still troublesome. Without the knowledge of the precise mechanisms of hypothermia, it will be difficult to tackle the application of hypothermia in clinical fields. Better understanding of the characteristics and modes of hypothermic actions may further extend the usage of hypothermia by developing novel drugs based on the hypothermic mechanisms or by combining hypothermia with other therapeutic modalities such as neuroprotective drugs. In this review, we describe the potential therapeutic targets for the development of new drugs, with a focus on signal pathways, gene expression, and structural changes of cells. Theapeutic hypothermia has been shown to attenuate neuroinflammation by reducing the production of reactive oxygen species and proinflammatory mediators in the central nervous system. Along with the mechanism-based drug targets, applications of therapeutic hypothermia in combination with drug treatment will also be discussed in this review.
Keywords: Hypothermia, pharmacotherapy, drug target, signal pathway, neuroinflammation, bloodbrain barrier (BBB), aneurysm surgery
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