Yellow-bellied marmots (M. flaviventris) acclimated to Ta = 20 °C were implanted with U-shaped polyethylene thermodes in the peridural space of the spinal cord. Decreasing the temperature of the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar areas of the cord increased heart rate, electromyographic activity, and oxygen consumption in the animals. These responses differed qualitatively from those elicited by heating the same cord areas, indicating specificity of the response to the temperature change. Increases in heat production were proportional to the amount of cooling of the cord. The thoracic area was found to be more thermosensitive than the lumbar area. No behavioral or physical thermoregulation was apparent when the spinal cord temperature was changed in these animals. In addition to the conclusion that regulation of spinal cord temperature may be important in the euthermic marmot, it was postulated that the temperature receptors located in the thoracic cord of the marmot may be important in maintaining shivering thermogenesis during arousal from hibernation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)