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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Effects of atropine, injected into a lateral cerebral ventricle of the rabbit, on fevers due to intravenous leucocyte pyrogen and hypothalamic and intraventricular injections of prostaglandin E1.

1. Cholinergic synapses in the hypothalamus may transmit information in those thermoregulatory pathways which function to raise body temperature. The effect of atropine, administered intracranially, on the febrile response to intravenous leucocyte pyrogen or intracranial prostaglandin E1 was therefore examined in conscious rabbits. 2. In rabbits exposed to a thermoneutral environment, micro-injections of PGE1, into the anterior hypothalamus, intraventricular injections of PGE1, and intravenous injection so leucocyte pyrogen all caused fever accompanied by vasoconstriction in the ears and reduced respiratory rate. Intraventricular injection of 200 mug atropine during such fevers attenuated their development. This was due to the activation of heat loss mechanisms through vasodilatation in the ears and an increase in the frequency of respiration. This suggests a similarity in the pattern of neuronal activity evoked by PGE1 and leucocyte pyrogen, at least at the site(s) where atropine directly or indirectly exerted its effect and in the efferent pathways from this site. 3. In rabbits exposed to a cold environment, intraventricular injection of PGE1 caused fever through the activation of shivering accompanied by increased O2 consumption. Intraventricular injection of atropine during the development of fever caused an inhibition of shivering accompanied by increased O2 consumption. Intraventricular injection of atropine during the development of fever caused an inhibition of shievering and a decrease in O2 consumption so that temperature ceased to rise and returned to normal. 4. During fever, reversal by atropine of the increased heat conservation of rabbits in a neutral environment, and of their increased heat production in a cold environment adds further support to the concept that cholinergic synapses provide an important link in central temperature-rasising pathways.[1]

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