Journal Article

Pyrogen Sensing and Signaling: Old Views and New Concepts

Clark M. Blatteis, Elmir Sehic and Shuxin Li

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue Supplement_5, pages S168-S177
Published in print October 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/317522
Pyrogen Sensing and Signaling: Old Views and New Concepts

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Fever is thought to be caused by endogenous pyrogenic cytokines, which are elaborated and released into the circulation by systemic mononuclear phagocytes that are activated by exogenous inflammatory agents and transported to the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic area (POA) of the brain, where they act. Prostaglandin (PG) E2 is thought to be an essential, proximal mediator in the POA, and induced by these cytokines. It seems unlikely, however, that these factors could directly account for early production of PGE2 following the intravenous administration of bacterial endotoxic lipopolysaccharides (LPS), because PGE2 is generated before the cytokines that induce it are detectable in the blood and the before cyclooxygenase-2, the synthase that they stimulate, is expressed. Hence other, more quickly evoked mediators are presumed to be involved in initiating the febrile response; moreover, their message may be conveyed to the brain by a neural rather than a humoral pathway. This article reviews current conceptions of pyrogen signalling from the periphery to the brain and presents new, developing hypotheses about the mechanism by which LPS initiates fever.

Journal Article.  7158 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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