The influence of environmental and core temperature on cyclooxygenase and PGE2 in healthy humans.

Christopher J Esh, Bryna C.R. Chrismas, Alexis R. Mauger, Anissa Cherif, John Molphy, Lee Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whether cyclooxygenase (COX)/prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) thermoregulatory pathways, observed in rodents, present in humans? Participants (n = 9) were exposed to three environments; cold (20 °C), thermoneutral (30 °C) and hot (40 °C) for 120 min. Core (Tc)/skin temperature and thermal perception were recorded every 15 min, with COX/PGE2 concentrations determined at baseline, 60 and 120 min. Linear mixed models identified differences between and within subjects/conditions. Random coefficient models determined relationships between Tc and COX/PGE2. Tc [mean (range)] increased in hot [+ 0.8 (0.4–1.2) °C; p < 0.0001; effect size (ES): 2.9], decreased in cold [− 0.5 (− 0.8 to − 0.2) °C; p < 0.0001; ES 2.6] and was unchanged in thermoneutral [+ 0.1 (− 0.2 to 0.4) °C; p = 0.3502]. A relationship between COX2/PGE2 in cold (p = 0.0012) and cold/thermoneutral [collapsed, condition and time (p = 0.0243)] was seen, with higher PGE2 associated with higher Tc. A within condition relationship between Tc/PGE2 was observed in thermoneutral (p = 0.0202) and cold/thermoneutral [collapsed, condition and time (p = 0.0079)] but not cold (p = 0.0631). The data suggests a thermogenic response of the COX/PGE2 pathway insufficient to defend Tc in cold. Further human in vivo research which manipulates COX/PGE2 bioavailability and participant acclimation/acclimatization are warranted to elucidate the influence of COX/PGE2 on Tc.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6531 (2021)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number11(1)
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


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