Basic Thermoregulation



The term “body temperature” is often ill defined and requires careful consideration. The body can be crudely divided into two regions [2], namely the “core” and the “shell” (Fig. 110.1). The “core” is made up of the contents of the skull, the thorax, and the abdomen. The “shell” includes the skin, the subcutaneous tissues, and the limbs. The temperature of the “core” is maintained close to 37°C (98.6°F) at most times, whereas the temperature of the “shell” fluctuates widely according to the environmental conditions. There are variations of temperature within the body core. For example, the temperature in the human esophagus at heart level may be up to 1°C (1.8°F) lower than that in the rectum. This difference does not seem to be due to bacterial action in the colon and rectum, since it has been shown to persist in a patient who had a colostomy and in whom the distal side of the colostomy had been sterilized with antibiotics. Oral temperatur, properly taken, and esophageal temperature follow rapid changes in arterial blood temperature more closely than does rectal temperature, in which the is large thermal lag.


Heat Exchange Skin Temperature Core Temperature Thermal Comfort Sweat Gland 
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. 1.
    Abramson DI (1967) Circulation in the extremities. Academic, New York, pp 116–119Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aschoff J, Wever R (1958) Kern und Schale im Wärmehaushalt des Menschen. Naturwissenschaften 20:477–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bazett HC, Love L, Newton M, Eisenberg L, Day R, Forster R (1948) Temperature changes in blood flowing in arteries and veins in man. J Appl Physiol 1:3–19PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bligh J (1973) Temperature regulation in mammals and other vertebrates. North Holland, Amsterdam, chap 13Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cabanac M (1969) Plaisir ou déplaisir de la sensation thermique et homéothermie. Physiol Behav 4:359–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Clark RP, Edholm OG (1985) Man and his thermal environment. Arnold, London, pp 136–154Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cooper KE, Cross KW, Greenfield ADM, Hamilton DMcK, Scarborough H (1949) A comparison of methods for gauging the blood flow through the hand. Clin Sci 8:217–234PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cooper KE, Veale WL, Malkinson TJ (1977) Measurements of body temperature. In: Myers RD (ed) Methods in psychobiology. Academic, New York, pp 149–187Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fanger PO (1970) Thermal comfort. Danish Technical Press, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Glossary of terms for thermal physiology (1987) A report by the Commission for Thermal Physiology of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. Pflugers Arch 410:567–587Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Himms-Hagen J (1990) Brown adipose tissue thermogenesis: role in thermoregulation, energy regulation and obesity. In: Schönbaum E, Lomax P (eds) Thermoregulation: physiology and biochemistry. Pergamon, New York, pp 327–386Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Horovitz BA (1971) Brown fat thermogenesis: physiological control and metabolic basis. In: Jansky L (ed) Nonshivering thermogenesis. Academia, Prague, pp 221–240Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Keatinge WR (1969) Survival in cold water. Blackwell Scienific, Oxford, pp 39–50Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kerslake DMcK (1972) The stress of hot environments. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (Monograph of the Physiological Society no 29)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kerslake DMcK, Cooper KE (1950) Vasodilatation in the hand in response to heating the skin elsewhere. Clin Sci 9:31–46Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Leblanc J, Brondel L (1985) Role of palatability on meal-induced thermogenesis in human subjects. Am J Physiol 248:E333–E336PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lewis T (1930) Observations upon the reactions of the vessels of the human skin to cold. Heart 15:177–208Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Satinoff E (1933) A re-evaluation of the concept of the homeostatic organization of temperature regulation. Handbook Behav Neurobiol 6:443–471Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schaefer O, Hildes JA, Greidanus P, Leung D (1974) Regional sweating in Eskimos compared to Caucasians. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 52:960–965PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Schmidt-Nielsen K (1990) Animal physiology, 4th edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 271–272Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Snell ES (1954) The relationship between vasomotor response in the hand and heat changes in the body induced by intravenous infusions of hot and cold saline. J Physiol (Lond) 125:361–372Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations