The CNS site of glucocorticoid negative feedback during LPS- and psychological stress-induced fevers

Lee E. Morrow, Jennifer L. McClellan, John J. Klir, Matthew J. Kluger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoids exert negative feedback in the anterior hypothalamus (AH) during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced fevers, but the central location of their negative feedback during psychological stress-induced fever has not been determined. To confirm that glucocorticoid modulation of LPS fever occurs in the AH, adrenalectomized animals were injected intrahypothalamically with either 0.25 ng of corticosterone or vehicle followed by 50 μg/kg LPS intraperitoneally. Animals pretreated with corticosterone developed significantly smaller fevers (P = 0.007) than animals given vehicle. To determine if glucocorticold modulation during psychological stress-induced fever may occur in the hippocampus, the fornix was transected to block hippocampal communication with the AH. This resulted in significantly larger psychological stress-induced fevers (P = 0.02) compared with sham-operated animals. There were no differences between these groups for LPS-induced fevers (P = 0.92). To determine where in the hippocampus glucocorticoids might exert their negative feedback during psychological stress, rats were microinjected with either 1 ng RU-38486 (a type II glucocorticoid receptor antagonist) or vehicle into the dentate gyrus prior to exposure to the open field. There were no differences between the psychological stress-induced fevers of the RU-38486- and vehicle-injected groups, supporting the hypothesis that these fevers are modulated elsewhere in the hippocampus. Our data support the hypothesis that glucocorticoids modulate LPS-induced fever in the AH and do not involve the hippocampus, and that psychological stress-induced fevers are modulated by neural connections between the hippocampus and the hypothalamus. The precise sites of action of glucocorticoid negative feedback on stress-induced fevers in the hippocampus (or other brain regions) are not yet known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R732-R737
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3 40-3
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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