Temperature/Signal Relations of Thermoreceptors and Input/Output Relations of the Thermoregulatory System

  • C. Jessen
  • G. Kuhnen
Conference paper


The relationship between skin temperature (TSKIN) and the static discharge rate of mammalian cold receptors bears a characteristic pattern: starting from a near-zero level of activity at 44°CTSKIN the discharge rate increases in a sigmoid-like curve to a maximum around 29°C, and decreases with further decreasing temperature (Hensel and Kenshalo 1969). When Benzinger (1969) determined the relationship between TSKIN and metabolic rate (MR in a single human subject, he obtained bell-shaped curves with maximum MR at around 20°C TSKIN and remarkably symmetrical flanks at either side of the peak. These experiments, however, most likely involved highly dynamic conditions of changing core and skin temperatures, which possibly complicated the relationship. A recently developed technique (Nagel et al. 1986) permits skin and core temperatures of conscious animals to be altered or to be kept constant at various levels independently of each other. We have used this method to re-examine the question whether the bellshaped pattern of the cold receptor signals is reflected in the relationship between Tskin and MR.


Skin Temperature Core Temperature Muscle Temperature Caudal Trigeminal Nucleus Cold Receptor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Jessen
  • G. Kuhnen
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiologisches InstitutJustus-Liebig-UniversitätGießenGermany

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