Effect of p-chlorophenylalanine on thermoregulation in unrestrained rats.

J. L. Giacchino, E. R. Schertel, J. M. Horowitz, B. A. Horwitz

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10 Scopus citations


p-Chlorophenylalanine (PCPA), a serotonin depletor, was used to investigate thermoregulation of unrestrained unanesthetized rats exposed to warm (approximately 32 degrees C) and cold (approximately 3 degrees C) environments. PCPA (300 mg/kg, ip) was administered approximately 48-96 h prior to the experimental trials. After 60 min of warm exposure, PCPA-treated rats had a significantly smaller increase in mean tail temperature (3.05 degrees C) and a greater increase in mean core temperature (1.47 degrees C) than did the control rats (6.13 and 1.20 degrees C, respectively) as measured via chronically implanted thermistors. A noninvasive method, infrared photography, was also used to monitor skin temperatures following heat exposure. Changes were qualitatively similar to those seen with thermistors, although differences between control and PCPA-treated groups were not statistically significant. During cold exposure, thermistor measurements indicated that the decrease in mean core temperature of the PCPA-treated rats (0.62 degrees C) did significantly differ from that of the controls (1.11 degrees C), whereas tail temperatures did not. These data confirm other studies implicating serotonin in the thermoregulation of rats. In particular, these results show that in a warm environment, PCPA may alter, albeit subtly, peripheral vasodilation in unrestrained rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe American journal of physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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