Infectious diseases and inflammatory conditions recruit the immune system to mount an appropriate acute response that includes the production of cytokines. Cytokines evoke neurally-mediated responses to fight pathogens, such as the recruitment of thermoeffectors, thereby increasing body temperature and leading to fever. Studies suggest that the cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) depends upon cyclooxygenase (COX)-mediated prostaglandin E2 production for the induction of neural mechanisms to elicit fever. However, COX inhibitors do not eliminate IL-1β-induced fever, thus suggesting that COX-dependent and COX-independent mechanisms are recruited for increasing body temperature after peripheral administration of IL-1β. In the present study, we aimed to build a foundation for the neural circuit(s) controlling COX-independent, inflammatory fever by determining the involvement of brain areas that are critical for controlling the sympathetic outflow to brown adipose tissue (BAT) and the cutaneous vasculature. In anesthetized rats, pretreatment with indomethacin, a non-selective COX inhibitor, did not prevent BAT thermogenesis or cutaneous vasoconstriction (CVC) induced by intravenous IL-1β (2 µg/kg). BAT and cutaneous vasculature sympathetic premotor neurons in the rostral raphe pallidus area (rRPa) are required for IL-1β-evoked BAT thermogenesis and CVC, with or without pretreatment with indomethacin. Additionally, activation of glutamate receptors in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) is required for COX-independent, IL-1β-induced BAT thermogenesis. Therefore, our data suggests that COX-independent mechanisms elicit activation of neurons within the DMH and rRPa, which is sufficient to trigger and mount inflammatory fever. These data provide a foundation for elucidating the brain circuits responsible for COX-independent, IL-1β-elicited fevers.
- Sympathetic nervous system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience