Mechanisms of Heat Action

  • George M. Hahn


In the last two chapters I have portrayed various ways that mildly elevated temperatures modify survival kinetics of mammalian cells. Environmental factors were shown to have considerable influence in determining cell death. Ionizing radiations, as well as many drugs, become more effective in inactivating cells when exposures are carried out at hyperthermic temperatures. Now I will describe some of the known or suspected mechanisms underlying the phenomenological descriptions. Specifically, I will sequentially address the following questions: Are there specific critical “targets,” i.e., subcellular organelles or molecules, that are particularly heat sensitive and hence responsible for cell death? If so, what are these likely to be? What is the cause of thermotolerance? What are the mechanisms of accentuated X-ray cytotoxicity at elevated temperatures? Finally, I will look at some of the mechanisms likely to be responsible for heat-drug interactions.


Cell Killing Heat Inactivation Heat Action Chinese Hamster Cell Heat Sensitivity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • George M. Hahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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