Body temperature: possible ionic mechanism in the hypothalamus controlling the set point

R D Myers, W L Veale


The body temperature of many mammals is set at or around 37 degrees C. The mechanism for this set point appears to depend on a constant and inherent balance between sodium and calcium ions within the posterior hypothalamus. When this region is perfused in unanesthetized cats, an extracellular excess or a normal physiological concentration of sodium ions evokes a rise in body temperature if calcium is not in the perfusate. At the same site, an excess or normal concentration of calcium ions causes the temperature to fall when sodium is absent.


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