Tissue oxidative metabolism can increase the difference between local temperature and arterial blood temperature by up to 1.3oC: Implications for brain, brown adipose tissue, and muscle physiology

Dmitry V. Zaretsky, Andrej A. Romanovsky, Maria V. Zaretskaia, Yaroslav I. Molkov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tissue temperature increases, when oxidative metabolism is boosted. The source of nutrients and oxygen for this metabolism is the blood. The blood also cools down the tissue, and this is the only cooling mechanism, when direct dissipation of heat from the tissue to the environment is insignificant, e.g., in the brain. While this concept is relatively simple, it has not been described quantitatively. The purpose of the present work was to answer two questions: 1) to what extent can oxidative metabolism make the organ tissue warmer than the body core, and, 2) how quickly are changes in the local metabolism reflected in the temperature of the tissue? Our theoretical analysis demonstrates that, at equilibrium, given that heat exchange with the organ is provided by the blood, the temperature difference between the organ tissue and the arterial blood is proportional to the arteriovenous difference in oxygen content, does not depend on the blood flow, and cannot exceed 1.3oC. Unlike the equilibrium temperature difference, the rate of change of the local temperature, with respect to time, does depend on the blood flow. In organs with high perfusion rates, such as the brain and muscles, temperature changes occur on a time scale of a few minutes. In organs with low perfusion rates, such changes may have characteristic time constants of tens or hundreds of minutes. Our analysis explains, why arterial blood temperature is the main determinant of the temperature of tissues with limited heat exchange, such as the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-35
Number of pages14
JournalTemperature
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Body temperature
  • blood flow
  • brain
  • brown adipose tissue
  • brown fat
  • heat dissipation
  • metabolism
  • modeling
  • oxygen consumption
  • thermogenesis
  • tissue temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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