Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Source Of Fever Identified

Date:
August 7, 2007
Source:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Summary:
With the finding that fever is produced by the action of a hormone on a specific site in the brain, scientists have answered a key question as to how this adaptive function helps to protect the body during bacterial infection and other types of illness.

With the finding that fever is produced by the action of a hormone on a specific site in the brain, scientists have answered a key question as to how this adaptive function helps to protect the body during bacterial infection and other types of illness.

Related Articles


"This study shows how the brain produces fever responses during infections," explains senior author Clifford Saper, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at BIDMC and James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. "Our laboratory identified the key site in the brain at which a hormone called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) acts on a target, called the EP3 receptor, on neurons to cause the fever response."

During periods of inflammation, such as when the body is fighting an infection or illness, the body produces hormones known as cytokines. The cytokines, in turn, act on blood vessels in the brain to produce PGE2.

"PGE2 then enters the brain's hypothalamus, causing fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and general feelings of sickness and achiness," says Saper, explaining that these common symptoms of illness function as an adaptive response to enable the body to better fight infection.

"When body temperature is elevated by a few degrees, white blood cells can fight infections more effectively. Also, individuals tend to become achy and lethargic. Consequently," he adds, "they tend to take it easy, thereby conserving their energy so that they can better fight the infection. That is why so many different types of illness result in more or less the same sickness behaviors."

To this point, the specific neurons on which PGE2 was acting to produce fever were unknown. Saper and his colleagues created a knockout mouse in which the gene for the EP3 receptor -- which registers the presence of PGE2 -- could be removed in one part of the brain at a time.

"This was the first time that anyone has been able to remove the receptor at a single spot in the brain," says Saper. "As a result, we are able to definitively say that this particular site in the brain -- only a little bigger than the head of a pin -- is where prostaglandins work to cause the fever response.

"We think that the other aspects of sickness behavior, such as the achiness caused by increased sensitivity to pain, also come from specific sites in the brain," he adds. "We plan to use this same approach to dissect the brain's response to inflammation, and find out why people feel the way they do when they are ill."

Reported by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), the study results appeared recently in Nature Neuroscience's advance online publication.

In addition to Saper, coauthors include BIDMC investigators Michael Lazarus, PhD(lead author), Kyoko Yoshida, PhD, Takatoshi Mochizuki, PhD, Bradford Lowell, MD, PhD, and Roberto Coppari, PhD; and Caroline Bass, PhD, of Wake Forest University, North Carolina.

This study was funded by grants from the U.S. Public Health Service.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Source Of Fever Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070805161045.htm>.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (2007, August 7). Source Of Fever Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070805161045.htm
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Source Of Fever Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070805161045.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins