Effect of Chronic Hypercapnia on Body Temperature Regulation
Medical research progress rept. no. 3
NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB GROTON CT
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In an effort to add to the knowledge of the role of increased blood CO2 levels in thermoregulation, guinea pigs and rats were exposed to 15 carbon dioxide for seven days. Results showed a parallel time course of changes in pH and in body temperature. After six hours of exposure, the maximal drop in extracellular pH occurred in the guinea pigs, simultaneously with the maximal fall in body temperature. During the subsequent period, both pH and body temperature rose again. After three days of exposure, body temperature had reached initial levels, while pH remained markedly below control levels, although it was steadily rising. The body temperature of those animals showing no partial compensation to respiratory acidosis during the three days of exposure also failed to return to normal in this time. The behavior of the body temperature was found to be the best indicator of the acid-base status and adaptive potential of the animals to hypercapnia.
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