A new simple but general estimation method for survival time in a hot environment is presented in this study. Even in heat-tolerant rats showing a triphasic heat response, an accurate estimation of survival time (ST) is possible. Rat groups, which included some heat-tolerant individuals, were exposed to 42.5 degrees C, 40% rh. Colonic temperature (Tco) was measured continuously by copper-constantan thermocouple. The ST (Y) of male and female rats were expressed as a linear function of time (X) until the Tco of 42.5 degrees C was reached: Y = 0.976X + 30.6 and Y = 0.968X + 31.6, respectively. A Tco of 42.5 degrees C at rest was just below the maximum survivable body temperature and above the steady-state equilibrium Tco levels during the second phase of the triphasic heat-response curve. Heat-tolerant individuals showed lower equilibrium temperatures than heat-intolerant rats. All 140 rats survived the Tco of 42.5 degrees C and lived for more than 8 wk, thus enabling them to be used for future experiments on thermoregulation. The heat survivors were able to reproduce, and their genetically controlled offspring could be used for thermoregulatory experiments.
- Copyright © 1984 the American Physiological Society