Fluctuations in Brain Temperature Induced by Lypopolysaccharides: Central and Peripheral Contributions
In this study, we examined changes in central (anterior-preoptic hypothalamus) and peripheral (temporal muscle and facial skin) temperatures in freely moving rats following intravenous administration of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) at low doses (1 and 10 μg/kg) at thermoneutral conditions (28˚C). Recordings were made with high temporal resolution (5-s bin) and the effects of LPS were compared with those induced by a tail-pinch, a standard arousing somato-sensory stimulus. At each dose, LPS moderately elevated brain, muscle and skin temperatures. In contrast to rapid, monophasic and relatively short hyperthermic responses induced by a tail-pinch, LPS-induced increases in brain and muscle temperatures occurred with ~40 min onset latencies, showed three not clearly defined phases, were slightly larger with the 10 μm/kg dose and maintained for the entire 4-hour post-injection recording duration. Based on dynamics of brain-muscle and skin-muscle temperature differentials, it appears that the hyperthermic response induced by LPS at the lowest dose originates from enhanced peripheral heat production, with no evidence of brain metabolic activation and skin vasoconstriction. While peripheral heat production also appears to determine the first phase of brain and body temperature elevation with LPS at 10 μg/kg, a further prolonged increase in brain-muscle differentials (onset at ~100 min) suggests metabolic brain activation as a factor contributing to brain and body hyperthermia. At this dose, skin temperature increase was weaker than in temporal muscle, suggesting vasoconstriction as another contributor to brain/ body hyperthermia. Therefore, although both LPS at low doses and salient sensory stimuli moderately increase brain and body temperatures, these hyperthermic responses have important qualitative differences, reflecting unique underlying mechanisms.