Articles > Cytokine regulation of fever: studies using gene knockout mice

Cytokine regulation of fever: studies using gene knockout mice

Molecular Biology of Thermoregulation

Invited Review

Cytokine regulation of fever: studies using gene knockout mice

Lisa R. Leon

Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Massachusetts 01760-5007


Fever is defined as a regulated rise in body temperature. The regulation of this phenomenon is accomplished by the actions of two types of endogenous cytokines, some functioning as pyrogens and others as antipyretics. Previous data obtained with the use of traditional pharmacological techniques, such as the injection of neutralizing antibodies, implicate interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 as endogenous pyrogens or inducers of fever. In almost all instances in which the endogenous actions of IL-1 or IL-6 are antagonized, fevers are attenuated. Other cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha- (TNF-alpha) and IL-10, are thought to act as endogenous antipyretics or inhibitors of fever. In several studies, the inhibition of TNF action has enhanced fever. Recently, mice genetically engineered to lack cytokines or their receptors in all tissues of the body have been used to examine the regulation of IL-1, IL-6, TNF, and IL-10 on fever. Data obtained with these mice shed new light on our understanding of cytokine interactions in fever and, in some instances, contradict data obtained with pharmacological methods. This review summarizes the responses of cytokine and cytokine receptor knockout mice to fevers induced by lipopolysaccharide, turpentine, and sepsis.

interleukin-1; interleukin-6; interleukin-10; tumor necrosis factor; thermoregulation

Source: J Appl Physiol,  Vol. 92, Issue 6, 2648-2655, June 2002

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