Cold induced vasoconstriction (CIVC) is a way for mammals to reduce heat loss in an effort to maintain body core temperature. As blood flow to a cooled extremity is reduced, the amount of body heat lost at the cooled location is minimised. However, when the extremity temperature gets below a certain threshold, Cold induced vasodilatation (CIVD) occurs, a phenomenon that is believed to reduce the risk of local cold injuries.Many theories explaining the mechanism of the CIVD reaction have been postulated, but no consensus has been found. One of these theories is that the CIVD reaction is controlled neurally. To study the effect of neural influence on the vascularisation and rewarming patterns a new experimental set-up was designed. This set-up is able to measure responses in both hind paws simultaneously, creating the opportunity to study the effect of nerve injury on one limb and use the contralateral limb as a control.Ten rats received a sciatic nerve transection and repair of either the left (n=5) or the right (n=5) hind limb. Measurements were performed, 1 day pre-operatively, directly post-operatively, and at days 1, 7, 14, 21, 35 and 49 post-operatively.Although results are not significant, there is a tendency for the CIVD reaction to be reduced in the nerve injured paw until the nerve is regenerated around day 35.Further investigation of neural influence on the CIVD reaction will be necessary; this set-up may prove to be useful in future experiments to elucidate the mechanism of the CIVD reaction.

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Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kusters, J.G, Walbeehm, E.T, & Niehof, S.P. (2010). Neural influence on cold induced vasodilatation using a new set-up for bilateral measurement in the rat hind limb. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 193(1), 100–105. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2010.08.007