Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Neurosci. 1997 Dec;20(12):565-70.

Mechanisms of CNS response to systemic immune challenge: the febrile response.

Author information

  • 1Dept of Neurology and Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The acute-phase reaction is the multisystem response to acute inflammation. The central nervous system (CNS) mediates a coordinated set of autonomic, endocrine and behavioral responses that constitute the cerebral component of the acute-phase reaction. However, the mechanisms of immune signaling of the CNS remain controversial. Emerging evidence indicates that different parts of the acute-phase reaction are initiated by distinct mechanisms and in different brain regions. Cytokines produced as a result of local infections (for example, in the abdominal or thoracic cavities) might activate vagal sensory fibers, resulting in sickness behavior and fevers. Additionally, circulating immune stimuli might activate meningeal macrophages and perivascular microglia along the borders of the brain, eliciting the local production of prostaglandins and responses such as fever, anorexia, sleepiness, and activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The biological importance of these responses might favor the existence of multiple parallel CNS pathways that are engaged by cytokines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk