Dopamine and thermoregulation: an evaluation with special reference to dopaminergic pathways

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1985 Winter;9(4):589-98. doi: 10.1016/0149-7634(85)90005-3.


The complex role of dopamine (DA) in the diencephalic mechanisms involved in the control of body temperature is reviewed and evaluated. In the context of the monoamine theory of thermoregulation, catecholaminergic synapses in the anterior hypothalamic pre-optic area, are proposed mediate the pathways in the brain-stem which subserve heat dissipation. Within this theoretical framework, hypothalamic DA is considered to underlie a portion of the functional component of the heat loss system. This deduction is based on pharmacological studies in which both the catecholamine and receptor antagonists have been infused directly into the hypothalamus. In view of the action of DA applied to the substantia nigra and other subcortical structures, the unique anatomical circuitry of the central dopaminergic projections has also been analyzed in terms of specific connections within critical morphological regions related to thermal functions. In particular, the nigro-striatal pathway could be involved in the mediation of one or more of the different aspects of the thermoregulatory system integrating both autonomic and behavioral responses. Finally, an anatomical schema which portrays the suggested mechanisms of DA activity is presented.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature Regulation* / drug effects
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Caudate Nucleus / drug effects
  • Dopamine / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus, Anterior / drug effects
  • Microinjections
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Olfactory Bulb / drug effects
  • Rabbits
  • Species Specificity
  • Substantia Nigra / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission


  • Dopamine