Interleukin-6 is a centrally acting endogenous pyrogen in the rat Academic Article uri icon

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  • Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of human recombinant interleukin-6 (IL-6; 20-100 ng) caused significant increases in colonic temperature and resting oxygen consumption (VO2) in conscious rats. These effects were prevented by pretreatment with a cyclooxygenase inhibitor (flurbiprofen, 1 mg/kg, i.p.) or a corticotrophin-releasing factor antagonist (alpha-helical CRF9-41, 25 micrograms, i.c.v.). Higher doses of IL-6 (i.c.v.) caused only small changes in VO2 and temperature, and very high doses given intravenously (i.v.) (4 micrograms/kg) were required to stimulate these parameters. Central injection of anti-rat IL-6 antibody inhibited the effects of interleukin-1 beta (i.c.v.) or endotoxin injection (i.p.) on colonic temperature and VO2 in conscious rats. These data indicate that IL-6 is an important endogenous pyrogen that acts within the central nervous system.


  • Rothwell, NJ
  • Busbridge, NJ
  • Lefeuvre, RA
  • Hardwick, AJ
  • Gauldie, Jack
  • Hopkins, SJ

publication date

  • October 1991