Effects of mammalian in utero heat stress on adolescent body temperature

Jay S. Johnson, Rebecca L. Boddicker, M. Victoria Sanz-Fernandez, Jason W. Ross, Josh T. Selsby, Matt C. Lucy, Tim J. Safranski, Rob P. Rhoads, Lance H. Baumgard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In utero hyperthermia can cause a variety of developmental issues, but how it alters mammalian body temperature during adolescence is not well-understood. Study objectives were to determine the extent to which in utero hyperthermia affects future phenotypic responses to a heat load. Pregnant first parity pigs were exposed to thermal neutral (TN) or heat stress (HS) conditions during the entire gestation. Of the resultant offspring, 12 were housed in TN conditions, and 12 were maintained in HS conditions for 15 days. Adolescent pigs in HS conditions had increased rectal temperature and respiration rate (RR) compared to TN pigs, regardless of gestational treatment. Within the HS environment, no gestational difference in RR was detected; however, GHS pigs had increased rectal temperature compared to GTN pigs. As rectal temperature increased, GTN pigs had a more rapid increase in RR compared to the GHS pigs. Adolescent HS decreased nutrient intake, and body weight gain, but neither variable was statistically influenced by gestational treatments. In summary, in utero HS compromises the future thermoregulatory response to a thermal insult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-702
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Body temperature
  • Mammals
  • epigenetics
  • heat stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cancer Research


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