Interactions between body temperature and wheel running over the estrous cycle in rats Academic Article uri icon


  • Female rats were housed in Wahmann wheels under a 12:12 light-dark (LD) photoperiod for 36 days and then were switched to LD 10:14 for 36-64 days. Running was 95-100% nocturnal. Overall amounts of running were higher in LD 12:12, but changes over the estrous cycle were similar. On the night of proestrus running increased by 64% in LD 12:12 and 123% in LD 10:14 (p less than 0.0001) compared to the first night of diestrus. Nighttime Tb's were correlated with running levels. In LD 12:12 Tb on proestrus was higher by 0.3 +/- 0.0 degrees C (p less than 0.0001); in LD 10:14 it was higher by 0.2 +/- 0.0 degrees C (p less than 0.001) compared to diestrus-1. During L, Tb was lowest on proestrus and highest on estrus. Half of the rats exhibited a consistent phase advance of at least 30 min in both Tb and activity on proestrus. The advanced Tb acrophase was correlated with both the activity acrophase (r = .91; p less than 0.0001) and the amount of running (r = .60; p less than 0.01). The wheels of 6 rats were then locked at night in LD 10:14. There were no significant Tb changes from diestrus-1 across the cycle. However, Tb acrophase was delayed a mean of 76 +/- 16 min (p less than 0.01) in these rats. Also, the Tb acrophase across all days of the estrous cycle was delayed by 94 +/- 18 min (p less than 0.001) compared to when the wheels were open.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

publication date

  • June 1991