CNS thermosensitivity and control of latent heat dissipation in the pigeon

Jacob Marder, Liisa M. Peltonen, Pnina Raber, Yehuda Arieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermoregulatory responses to heat exposure were studied in 12 hand-reared, acclimated pigeons (Columbia livia). Measurements of body temperature (Tcl), brain temperature (Tbr), cutaneous water evaporation (CWE) and respiratory frequency (fr) were carried out in intact conscious heat exposed birds. In a second group of lightly restrained birds, fr and CWE were taken when temperatures of the trunk, brain and air (Ta) were independently changed. Increasing Tbr to 43.5-43.8°C induced a pronounced polypnea (deep and fast, (300 breaths min-1) when Tcl regulated at 42.4°C. Moreover, when hyperthermia (Tcl = 43.0°C) was combined with increased Tbr (43.0-43.8°C) shallow and fast panting (>500 breaths min-1) was evoked. CWE was probably elicited by inputs generated by the skin warm receptors as a result of increased Ta. Moreover it was demonstrated that warming the brain to 42.5°C elicits cutaneous water evaporation in birds exposed to 26°C. When a high Ta (60°C) is accompanied by a high relative humidity (17%), the combined effect generates inputs eliciting intensive panting. The integration of the present and earlier data allows us to generate a model demonstrating the distinguished significance of the trunk, skin and brain thermosensors in the regulation of both respiratory and cutaneous latent heat dissipation. The present model also emphasizes the fact that the highly thermosensitive pigeon brain responds in a similar pattern to that found in mammals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • CNS thermosensitivity
  • Thermoregulation
  • heat dissipation
  • pigeon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Developmental Biology


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