Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 39 (3), 139-48

Recent Advances in Thermoregulation


Recent Advances in Thermoregulation

Etain A Tansey et al. Adv Physiol Educ.


Thermoregulation is the maintenance of a relatively constant core body temperature. Humans normally maintain a body temperature at 37°C, and maintenance of this relatively high temperature is critical to human survival. This concept is so important that control of thermoregulation is often the principal example cited when teaching physiological homeostasis. A basic understanding of the processes underpinning temperature regulation is necessary for all undergraduate students studying biology and biology-related disciplines, and a thorough understanding is necessary for those students in clinical training. Our aim in this review is to broadly present the thermoregulatory process taking into account current advances in this area. First, we summarize the basic concepts of thermoregulation and subsequently assess the physiological responses to heat and cold stress, including vasodilation and vasoconstriction, sweating, nonshivering thermogenesis, piloerection, shivering, and altered behavior. Current research is presented concerning the body's detection of thermal challenge, peripheral and central thermoregulatory control mechanisms, including brown adipose tissue in adult humans and temperature transduction by the relatively recently discovered transient receptor potential channels. Finally, we present an updated understanding of the neuroanatomic circuitry supporting thermoregulation.

Keywords: brown adipose tissue; cold; heat; preoptic area of the hypothalamus; set point; thermoregulation; transient receptor potential channel.

Similar articles

  • Thermoregulation and Hyperthermia
    R Lenhardt et al. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand Suppl 109, 34-8. PMID 8901936.
    Despite minor daily and monthly cyclical variations, body temperature remains relatively constant. Core temperature is maintained by thermoregulatory responses such as sw …
  • Central Circuitries for Body Temperature Regulation and Fever
    K Nakamura. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 301 (5), R1207-28. PMID 21900642. - Review
    Body temperature regulation is a fundamental homeostatic function that is governed by the central nervous system in homeothermic animals, including humans. The central th …
  • Central Nervous System Circuits That Control Body Temperature
    CJ Madden et al. Neurosci Lett 696, 225-232. PMID 30586638. - Review
    Maintenance of mammalian core body temperature within a narrow range is a fundamental homeostatic process to optimize cellular and tissue function, and to improve surviva …
  • Thermoregulatory Disorders and Illness Related to Heat and Cold Stress
    WP Cheshire Jr. Auton Neurosci 196, 91-104. PMID 26794588. - Review
    Thermoregulation is a vital function of the autonomic nervous system in response to cold and heat stress. Thermoregulatory physiology sustains health by keeping body core …
  • Thermoregulation and Afterdrop During Hypothermia in Patients With Poikilothermia
    MA MacKenzie et al. Q J Med 86 (3), 205-13. PMID 8483993. - Case Reports
    The pathophysiology of afterdrop of core temperature during rewarming in patients with induced or accidental hypothermia remains controversial. We studied the effect of c …
See all similar articles

Cited by 18 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

LinkOut - more resources