Book Chapter

Efferent thermoregulatory pathways regulating cutaneous blood flow and sweating

Robin M McAllen, Michael J McKinley

THERMOREGULATION: FROM BASIC NEUROSCIENCE TO CLINICAL NEUROLOGY, PT I | Handbook of Clinical Neurology | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 2018

Abstract

Cutaneous vasoconstrictor nerves regulate heat retention, and are activated by falls in skin or core temperature. The efferent pathways controlling this process originate within the preoptic area. A descending GABAergic pathway, activated by warm skin or core, indirectly inhibits sympathetic premotor neurons in the medullary raphé. Those premotor neurons drive cutaneous vasoconstriction via excitatory glutamatergic and serotonergic connections to spinal preganglionic neurons. Cold skin and/or cold core temperatures activate a direct preoptic-to-raphé excitatory pathway. The balance of inhibitory and excitatory influences reaching the medullary raphé determines cutaneous blood flow. During fe..

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