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Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Sep;146(1):139-45.

P2 receptor blockade attenuates fever and cytokine responses induced by lipopolysaccharide in rats.

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1Department of Physiology, Royal Free and University College London Medical School, University College London, Hampstead Campus, UK.


Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) has been shown to induce release of cytokines implicated in fever, including interleukin(IL)-1beta, IL-6, and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). The role of ATP-mediated purinergic signalling in fever and cytokine release during systemic inflammation was investigated by studying the effects of P2 receptor antagonists suramin, pyridoxal-5'-phosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid (PPADS), and Brilliant Blue G (BBG) on changes in body temperature and the increases in plasma levels of IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNFalpha induced by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in rats. LPS (Escherichia coli; 50 microg kg(-1))-induced febrile response was attenuated by suramin (25 mg kg(-1) and 100 mg kg(-1)), PPADS (25 mg kg(-1)), and a more selective P2X(7) receptor antagonist BBG (100 mg kg(-1)) injected intraperitoneally before the induction of fever. The increase in plasma concentrations of IL-1beta and IL-6, measured 1 h after LPS treatment, was reduced by PPADS (25 mg kg(-1)) and BBG (100 mg kg(-1)). LPS-induced increase in plasma TNF-alpha concentration was also markedly attenuated by BBG (100 mg kg(-1)), but not by PPADS (25 mg kg(-1)). These data indicate that purinergic signalling plays an important role in the mechanisms responsible for the LPS-induced febrile response and increases in the levels of circulating cytokines. We suggest that ATP acting via P2X(7) receptors induces release of pyrogenic cytokines to mediate fever during systemic inflammation.

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