The role of prostaglandins and the hypothalamus in thermoregulation in the lizard, Phrynocephalus przewalskii (Agamidae)

J Comp Physiol B. 2006 May;176(4):321-8. doi: 10.1007/s00360-005-0054-7. Epub 2005 Dec 7.


Typically, small lizards rely heavily on behavioral thermoregulation rather than physiological mechanisms to control their rates of warming and cooling. We tested the hypothesis that prostaglandins participate in mediating the cardiovascular response to heating and cooling and temperature regulating neurons in the hypothalamus of the small lizard Phrynocephalus przewalskii. In vivo and in vitro treatments, heart rates (HRs) were all found to be higher during heating than during cooling, hysteresis was distinct below 30 and 26 degrees Celsius, respectively. In vivo, as administration of COX inhibitor, there were no differences in HR between heating and cooling at any body temperature and administration of agonist prostaglandins only produced a significant effect on HR below 25 degrees Celsius. Single-unit activity was recorded extracellularly in vitro with microelectrodes, found the firing rate of the continuous unit increased 23% when the temperature of the artificial cerebrospinal fluid dropped from 30-20 degrees Celsius. We conclude that prostaglandins appear to play only a limited role in modulating heart activity in Phrynocephalus przewalskii and suggest that cold-sensitive neurons in the preoptic and anterior hypothalamus (PO/AH) are involved in thermoregulatory control during heating or cooling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature
  • Body Temperature Regulation*
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / pharmacology
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / pharmacology
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Hypothalamus / blood supply*
  • Hypothalamus / physiology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lizards / physiology*
  • Male
  • Microelectrodes
  • Prostaglandins / pharmacology*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology


  • Prostaglandins
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2