Reductions in body temperature and spontaneous activity in rats exposed to horizontal rotation: abolition following chemical labyrinthectomy

Physiol Behav. 1994 Aug;56(2):319-24. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(94)90201-1.


The effect of horizontal rotation of male rats (70 rpm) on core temperature and spontaneous motor activity levels was examined. In Experiment 1, subjects were chemically labyrinthectomized (VNX) by intratympanic (IT) injections of sodium arsanilate and control rats (VNS) received IT injections of saline. Half of the rats in each group were subsequently rotated and the other half sham rotated. Measurement of body temperature prior to, immediately after, and 20 min following rotation revealed significant (all p < 0.01) reductions in temperature immediately after treatment, and 20 min later, in VNS rats. Sham-rotated VNS and all VNX rats failed to exhibit any significant changes in temperature following treatment. In Experiment 2, motor activity level was monitored in chemically labyrinthectomized (VNX) and control (VNS) rats prior to, and following, horizontal rotation. The VNS rats exhibited large (all p < 0.01) depressions in measures of horizontal and vertical spontaneous motor activity following rotation treatment, whereas VNX rats exhibited similar levels of activity in the pre- and postrotation period. These experiments show that, as in humans, exposing rats to horizontal rotation results in reduction of body temperature and motor activity, and that these physiological and behavioral changes require a functional vestibular system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Ear, Inner / physiology*
  • Kinesthesis / physiology*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rotation
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiology*