[Frontiers in Bioscience 15, 564-594, January 1, 2010]

The circadian rhythm of body temperature

Roberto Refinetti1

1Circadian Rhythm Laboratory, University of South Carolina, 807 Hampton Street, Walterboro, SC 29488, USA


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
2. Introduction
3. Rhythmicity under standard conditions
3.1. Pattern of oscillation
3.2. Intra- and interspecies differences
4. Influence of environmental factors
4.1. Ambient temperature
4.2. Food availability
5. Influence of biological factors
5.1. Locomotor activity
5.2. Maturation and aging
5.3. Body size
5.4. Reproductive state
6. Rhythmicity and homeostasis
6.1. Regulatory process
6.2. Heat-exchange process
7. Perspective
8. References


This article reviews the literature on the circadian rhythm of body temperature. It starts with a description of the typical pattern of oscillation under standard laboratory conditions, with consideration being given to intra- and interspecies differences. It then addresses the influence of environmental factors (principally ambient temperature and food availability) and biological factors (including locomotor activity, maturation and aging, body size, and reproductive state). A discussion of the interplay of rhythmicity and homeostasis (including both regulatory and heat-exchange processes) is followed by concluding remarks.