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Prog Brain Res. 2007;162:277-93.

Neuropeptides in hyperthermia.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Division of Biological Research on Drug Dependence, Uppsala University, S-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.


Brain damage as a result of hyperthermia or heat-stress has been the focus of attention in many areas of neuroscience in recent years. Heat-induced alterations in structural components of the central nervous system (CNS) will obviously also influence the relevant transmitter systems, which may be involved in a variety of different behaviors. Indeed, many studies have indicated that excitatory amino acids, and monoaminergic and peptidergic systems are affected during hyperthermia. This chapter will address past and current research on various neuropeptides that have been implicated in the consequences of hyperthermia and various other heat disorders. However, considering the large and even increasing number of identified neuroactive peptides, it is necessary to limit this chapter to a few peptides or peptide systems, which have received particular attention in relation to hyperthermia. Among these are the opioid peptides, the tachykinins, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and peptides belonging to the angiotensin system. Most of these neuropeptides are not only affected by hyperthermia and abnormal alterations in the body temperature but also are involved in the endogenous mechanisms of regulating body temperature. This review does not endeavor to fully cover the field but it does aim to give the reader an idea of how various neuropeptides may be involved in the control of body heat and how peptidergic systems are affected during various thermal changes, including both immediate and long-term consequences.

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