Spinal cord thermosensitivity and sorting of neural signals in cold exposed rats

C. A. Fuller, J. M. Horowitz, Barbara A Horwitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


In the present study, data relevant to the presence or absence of sorting of neural signals were obtained by evaluating the thermal responses to spinal warming in the chronically prepared rat. Specifically, shivering activity and the rate of oxygen consumption (VO2) were measured in unanesthetized rats during cold exposure (10 to 16°C). Warming the spinal cord at the level of T2 resulted in a significant decrease in shivering (P < 0.001), without a significant change in VO2. The shivering response was reversed upon cessation of heating. These results are interpreted as indicating a direct influence of spinal cord temperature on shivering but not nonshivering thermogenesis in the rat. Similarly, in previous work with the rat, the authors have obtained data supporting hypothalamic receptor control of nonshivering but not shivering heat production. These findings are thus consistent with the suggestion that in the rat there occurs a sorting of neural signals. That is, impulses from the 3 thermoreceptor locations are not integrated in an identical manner for the control of shivering and nonshivering thermogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJ.APPL.PHYS.RESP.ENV.EXERC.PHYSIOL.
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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