Control of Cardiorespiration during Shivering Thermogenesis in the Pigeon

  • Werner Rautenberg
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIAS, volume 173)


Shivering thermogenesis is the most important source of extra heat production in resting birds to maintain deep body temperature at a constant level under cold conditions. The main heat by shivering is produced by the large breast muscle whose mass amounts to 15–25% of avian’s body weight. The frequency of electrical activity recorded in the pectoral muscle is about 200 Hz and seems to be independent of the intensity of tremor (Hohtola 1982). The cold tremor in pigeons is obviously due to contractions of white, fast-twitch glycolytic muscle fiber types (George, 1984). Hohtola (1982) had previously demonstrated a close correlation between the integrated EMG during shivering and the oxygen consumption in pigeons. No increase of blood lactate acid was found during violent shivering which resulted in up to five times of basic metabolism in birds and mammals (cf. Bligh, 1983). In contrast to severe physical work no oxygen debt has been observed during shivering. The increase of oxygen consumption with increasing intensity of cold tremor refers to a precise cooperation between temperature regulation and the cardiorespiratory system. How this interaction of the autonomic feedback control systems may function, shall be described in this paper.


Cardiac Output Pectoral Muscle Oxygen Debt Cold Stimulation Central Cool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barnas, G. and Rautenberg, W., 1984, Respiratory responses to shivering produced by external and central cooling in the pigeon, Pflügers Arch., 401: 228.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnas, GM., Nomoto, S., Rautenberg, W., 1984, Cardiovascular and blood-gas response to shivering produced by external and central cooling in the pigeon, Pflügers Arch., 401: 227.Google Scholar
  3. Bligh, J., 1973, Temperature regulation in mammals and other vertebrates, North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  4. Gautier, H., Bonora, M., Schultz, S. A., and Remitters, J. E., 1987, Hypoxia-induced changes in shivering and body temperature, J. Appl. Physiol., 62: 2477.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. George, J. C., 1984, Thermogenesis in birds, in: Thermal Physiology, J. R. S. Hales, ed., Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Gleeson, M., Barnas, G. M., and Rautenberg, W., 1986a, Cardiorespiratory responses to shivering in vagotomized pigeons during normoxia and hypoxia, Pflügers Arch., 407: 664.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gleeson, M., Barnas, G. M., and Rautenberg, W., 1986b, The effects of hypoxia on the metabolic and cardiorespiratory responses to shivering produced by external and central cooling in the pigeon, Pflügers Arch., 407: 312.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hohtola, ESA., 1982, Thermal and electromyographic correlates of shivering thermogenesis in the pigeon, Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 73A: 159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mense, S., and Meyer, H., 1988, Bradykinin-induced modulation of the response behaviour of different types of feline group III and IV muscle receptors, J. Physiol., 398: 49.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Waldrop, T. G., Mullins, D. C., and Henderson, M. C., 1986, Effects of hypothalamic lesions on the cardiorespiratory responses to muscular contraction, Respir. Physiol., 66: 215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Rautenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Biology, AG. TemperaturregulationRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

Personalised recommendations