Central osmoregulatory influences on thermoregulation.

Michael McKinley, Robin McAllen, Douglas Whyte, Michael Mathai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


1. Many mammals maintain a constant core body temperature in the face of a heat load by using evaporative cooling responses, such as sweating, panting and spreading of saliva. These cooling mechanisms incur a body fluid deficit if the fluid lost as sweat, saliva or respiratory moisture is not replaced by the ingestion of water; body fluid hypertonicity and hypovolaemia result. 2. Evidence in several mammals shows that, as they become dehydrated, evaporative cooling mechanisms such as sweating and panting are inhibited so that further fluid loss from the body is reduced. As a result, core temperature in the dehydrated animal is maintained at a higher than normal level. 3. Increasing the osmotic pressure of plasma has an inhibitory effect on panting and sweating in mammals. It has been proposed that osmoreceptors mediate these inhibitory influences of plasma hypertonicity on sweating and panting. 4. The suppression of panting in dehydrated sheep is mediated by cerebral osmoreceptors that are probably located in the lamina terminalis. We speculate that osmoreceptors in the lamina terminalis may also influence thermoregulatory sweating. 5. When dehydrated animals drink water, sweating and panting resume rapidly before water has been absorbed from the gut. It is likely that the act of drinking initiates a reflex that can override the osmoreceptor inhibition of panting, resulting in core temperature falling back quickly to a normal level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-705
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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