Relationships among the behavioral, noradrenergic, and pituitary-adrenal responses to interleukin-1 and the effects of indomethacin

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Peripheral administration of interleukin-1 (IL-1) is known to activate the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) and brain noradrenergic systems. We studied the relationship between these responses using in vivo microdialysis to assess the release of hypothalamic norepinephrine (NE), while simultaneously sampling blood for ACTH and corticosterone, and monitoring body temperature and behavior in freely moving rats. Rats were implanted with microdialysis probes in the medial hypothalamus, with intravenous catheters, and with telethermometers in the abdomen. Each rat was injected with saline and IL-1β (1 μg ip) in random order, monitoring microdialysate NE, body temperature and plasma ACTH and corticosterone for 2-4 h after injection. Saline injections were followed by transient increases in microdialysate NE and in plasma ACTH and corticosterone. IL-1β injections resulted in prolonged elevations of microdialysate NE, as well as plasma ACTH and corticosterone, and body temperature. IL-1β also induced shivering and a prolonged depression of locomotor activity. Pretreatment with indomethacin (10 mg/kg sc) prevented the IL-1β-induced increases in body temperature and the apparent increase in hypothalamic NE release, but only attenuated the IL-1β-induced shivering and the increase in plasma ACTH. The results indicate a close temporal relationship between the release of NE and HPA axis activation. Such a relationship is also supported by the similar effects of indomethacin pretreatment on NE and ACTH. The shivering is likely involved in the increase in body temperature, but indomethacin only attenuated the shivering while it blocked the fever. However, the effects of indomethacin clearly indicate that neither the increase in body temperature nor the increase in hypothalamic NE release was essential for HPA axis activation. These results suggest that hypothalamic NE is involved in the IL-1-induced HPA axis activation, but that this is not the only mechanism by which the HPA axis is activated by intraperitoneally injected IL-1. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Wieczorek, M., & Dunn, A. J. (2006). Relationships among the behavioral, noradrenergic, and pituitary-adrenal responses to interleukin-1 and the effects of indomethacin. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 20(5), 477–487.

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