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Neuroscience. 2005;133(4):1021-8.

Ethanol versus lipopolysaccharide-induced hypothermia: involvement of urocortin.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Mail Code L470, 3181 Southwest Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


The urocortin1 (Ucn1) neurons of the mid-brain-localized Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EW) are robustly responsive to ethanol (EtOH) administration, and send projections to the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), which contains corticotropin-releasing factor type 2 receptors (CRF2) that are responsive to Ucn1. In addition, the DRN has been shown to be involved in regulation of body temperature, a function greatly affected by EtOH administration. The goal of the present study was to identify the role that the urocortinergic projections from the EW to the DRN have in mediating EtOH-induced and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced hypothermia. Male C57BL6/J mice were used. Groups of mice underwent cannulation of the DRN, and then received i.p. injections of EtOH (2g/kg) or LPS (600 microg/kg or 400 microg/kg), followed by intra-DRN injections of artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) or anti-sauvagine (aSVG) (55 pmol), a CRF2 antagonist. Separate groups of mice received single intra-DRN injections of Ucn1 (20 pmol), CRF (20 pmol) or aCSF. For all experiments, core temperatures were monitored rectally every 30 min for several hours post-injection. Both EtOH and LPS induced hypothermia, and aSVG significantly attenuated this effect after EtOH; however, there was no significant attenuation of hypothermia after either dose of LPS. Ucn1 injection also caused hypothermia, while CRF injection did not. These data demonstrate that EtOH-induced hypothermia, but not LPS-induced hypothermia, may involve Ucn1 from EW acting at CRF2 receptors in the DRN.

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