IMR Press / FBS / Volume 2 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/S111

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Role of endotoxin and cytokines in the systemic inflammatory response to heat injury
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1 Thermal Mountain Medicine Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Kansas Street, Building 42, Natick, Massachusetts 01760-5007, USA

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Clark Blatteis

Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2010, 2(3), 916–938;
Published: 1 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in thermoregulation research)

Environmental heat exposure represents one of the most deadly natural hazards in the United States. Heat stroke is a life-threatening illness that affects all segments of society with few effective treatment strategies to mitigate the long-term debilitating consequences of this syndrome. Although the etiologies of heat stroke are not fully understood, the long-term sequelae are thought to be due to a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) that ensues following heat-induced tissue injury. Endotoxin and cytokines have been implicated as key mediators of the heat-induced SIRS, based almost exclusively on correlative data that show high circulating concentrations of these substances in heat stroke patients and animal models. However, endotoxin and cytokine neutralization studies have not consistently supported this hypothesis indicating that the mechanisms of heat stroke morbidity / mortality remain poorly understood. This review discusses the current understanding of the role of endotoxin and cytokines in heat-induced SIRS. Insight is provided into genetic conditions that may predispose to heat stroke and potential therapeutic strategies that may be efficacious against the adverse consequences of this debilitating illness.

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