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Selective regulation of brain and body temperatures in the squirrel monkey

Selective regulation of brain and body temperatures in the squirrel monkey

American Journal of Physiology 245(2): R293-R297

ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9513

PMID: 6881387

DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.1983.245.2.r293

Many panting mammals can cool the brain below body core temperature during heat stress. Studies on human subjects suggest that primates may also be able selectively to regulate brain temperature. We examined this possibility by measuring hypothalamic (Thy) and colonic (Tco) temperatures of unanesthetized squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) in two different experiments. First, Thy and Tco were examined at four different ambient temperatures (Ta) between 20 and 36 degrees C. Over this range of Ta, Thy was regulated within a narrower range than Tco. In the cold Ta, Tco was lower than Thy; whereas in warm Ta, Tco was higher than Thy. Second, monkeys maintained at 35 degrees C Ta were acutely exposed to cool air blown on the face or abdomen. Air directed at the face cooled Thy more and faster than Tco, whereas air directed at the abdomen cooled Tco and Thy at the same rate. The second experiment was repeated in anesthetized animals with a thermocouple in the right atrium, and the results showed that this brain cooling was not produced by cooling of blood in the body core. These data demonstrate that the squirrel monkey is capable of selectively regulating Thy. Further the results suggest that venous blood returning from the face may be involved in selective brain cooling in warm environments.

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Accession: 018110467

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