Thermoregulatory and nonthermoregulatory heat production in burned rat

D. R. Strome, L. H. Aulick, A. D. Mason, B. A. Pruitt

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10 Scopus citations


Severely burned patients are hypermetabolic within their thermoneutral zone (TNZ), where there are no thermoregulatory demands on heat production. The rat has been used as a model of postburn hypermetabolism without clear evidence that it behaves in a similar way. Male rats (400-500 g; n = 34-39) were placed as a group in a respiration chamber and metabolic rates for the average rat were determined over 3-6 h at ambient temperatures between 9 and 36°C. Colonic temperatures (T(co)) and body weights were measured after each run. Animals were studied sequentially as normals (N), after clipping (C) and following 50% total body surface scald burns. Clipping increased the lower critical temperature (LCT) from 27.7 to 29.1°C without affecting resting heat production (N = 42.6 ± 0.5; C = 42.0 ± 0.8 W/m2; mean ± SE) or T(co) (N = 36.6 ± 0.1; C = 36.6 ± 0.1° C) in the TNZ. Injury increased LCT to 32.8°C and the burned animals were hypermetabolic (47.2 ± 0.6 W/m2; P < 0.05 vs N) and febrile (36.9 ± 0.1°C; P < 0.05 vs N) in the elevated TNZ. These metabolic and temperature responses of burned rats are limited in magnitude but are qualitatively similar to those of patients. The extra heat production in the TNZ reflects the basic metabolic cost of injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-693
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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