Fever and thermogenesis in response to bacterial endotoxin involve macrophage-dependent mechanisms in rats

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, Volume 265, Number 5, p.R1179-R1183 (1993)


Affect; Analysis of Variance; Animals; blood; Body Temperature; Body Temperature Regulation; chemically induced; Colon; Cytokines; Dose-Response Relationship; Drug; drug effects; Endotoxins; Escherichia coli; Fever; injuries; Interleukin-1; Interleukin-6;


Increases in thermogenesis and body temperature (fever) frequently accompany infection or injury and are thought to be mediated by endogenous pyrogens (e.g. cytokines), which are released from activated immune cells such as macrophages. Therefore, we have investigated the effect of selective elimination of peripheral macrophages on the changes in oxygen consumption (VO2) and colonic temperature in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the rat. Peripheral macrophages were depleted by intravenous injection of liposomes containing the drug dichloromethylene diphosphonate (Cl2MDP). Resting oxygen consumption and colonic temperatures were not affected by macrophage elimination. In intact rats, peripheral injection of LPS (0.1-0.5 mg/kg) elicited an increase in colonic temperature and in oxygen consumption that declined at higher doses (2.5 mg/kg). The pyrogenic and thermogenic responses to LPS were significantly attenuated in rats in which peripheral macrophages were eliminated. Previously, we have reported that elimination of macrophages blunts the plasma interleukin-1 (IL-1) response to LPS. Here we show that elimination of macrophages does not affect the increase in plasma IL-6 concentrations in response to LPS. These data indicate that the pyrogenic and thermogenic responses to LPS are at least in part dependent on mechanisms involving peripheral macrophages, and that peripherally produced IL-1 rather than IL-6 may be an important mediator of the changes in oxygen consumption and colonic temperature in response to LPS