Additive Protective Effects of Delayed Mild Therapeutic Hypothermia and Antioxidants on PC12 Cells Exposed to Oxidative Stress

Jayanti Singh, John Barrett, Rachele Sangaletti, W. Dalton Dietrich, Suhrud M. Rajguru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mild therapeutic hypothermia is protective against several cellular stresses, but the mechanisms underlying this protection are not completely resolved. In the present study, we used an in vitro model to investigate whether therapeutic hypothermia at 33°C applied following a peroxide-induced oxidative stress would protect PC12 cells. A 1-hour exposure to tert-butyl peroxide increased cell death measured 24 hours later. This cell death was dose-dependent in the range of 100-1000 μM tert-butyl peroxide with ∼50% cell death observed at 24 hours from 500 μM peroxide exposure. Cell survival/death was measured with an alamarBlue viability assay, and propidium iodide/Hoechst imaging for counts of living and dead cells. Therapeutic hypothermia at 33°C applied for 2 hours postperoxide exposure significantly increased cell survival measured 24 hours postperoxide-induced stress. This protection was present even when delayed hypothermia, 15 minutes after the peroxide washout, was applied. Addition of any of the three FDA-approved antioxidants (Tempol, EUK134, Edaravone at 100 μM) in combination with hypothermia improved cell survival. With the therapeutic hypothermia treatment, a significant downregulation of caspases-3 and -8 and tumor necrosis factor-α was observed at 3 and 24 hours poststress. Consistent with this, a cell-permeable pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK applied in combination with hypothermia significantly increased cell survival. Overall, these results suggest that the antioxidants quenching of reactive oxygen species likely works with hypothermia to reduce mitochondrial damage and/or apoptotic mechanisms. Further studies are required to confirm and extend these results to other cell types, including neuronal cells, and other forms of oxidative stress as well as to optimize the critical parameters of hypothermia treatment such as target temperature and duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalTherapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • PC12
  • ROS
  • antioxidants
  • cell viability
  • hypothermia
  • oxidative stress
  • reactive oxygen
  • therapeutic hypothermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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