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Central Regulation of Autonomic Functions$
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Ida J. Llewellyn-Smith and Anthony J. M. Verberne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306637

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306637.001.0001

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Central Nervous System Regulation of Body Temperature

Central Nervous System Regulation of Body Temperature

(p.324) 18 Central Nervous System Regulation of Body Temperature
Central Regulation of Autonomic Functions

Shaun F. Morrison

William W. Blessing

Oxford University Press

The maintenance of body temperature is an essential behavior in the homeostatic repertoire orchestrated by central neural circuits. Thermoregulatory pathways optimize cellular and organ function at rest and in response to the demands of behavior, environmental temperature challenges and inflammation, and infectious disease processes. An overview of the functional organization of thermoregulatory mechanisms is presented. This chapter summarizes the research leading to our current understanding of the neural pathways and the neurotransmitter systems through which thermal and pyrogenic afferent signaling alters the activity of thermoregulatory effectors. These effectors include the cutaneous circulation for control of heat loss, the brown adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and the heart for thermogenesis, and the various species-dependent mechanisms of evaporative heat loss. The activation of thermoregulatory effectors is regulated by parallel but distinct, effector-specific, core efferent pathways within the central nervous system that share a common peripheral thermal sensory input.

Keywords:   homeostasis, thermoregulation, fever, thermogenesis, heat loss, brown adipose tissue, cutaneous vasoconstriction, shiver, inflammation, sympathetic nervous system

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