Strategies for therapeutic hypometabothermia

Shimin Liu and Jiang-Fan Chen

Although therapeutic hypothermia and metabolic suppression have shown robust neuroprotection in experimental brain ischemia, systemic complications have limited their use in treating acute stroke patients. The core temperature and basic metabolic rate are tightly regulated and maintained in a very stable level in mammals. Simply lowering body temperature or metabolic rate is actually a brutal therapy that may cause more systemic as well as regional problems other than providing protection. These problems are commonly seen in hypothermia and barbiturate coma. The main innovative concept of this review is to propose thermogenically optimal and synergistic reduction of core temperature and metabolic rate in therapeutic hypometabothermia using novel and clinically practical approaches. When metabolism and body temperature are reduced in a systematically synergistic manner, the outcome will be maximal protection and safe recovery, which happen in natural process, such as in hibernation, daily torpor and estivation.