Vagotomy suppresses fever and hyperalgesia caused by intraperitoneal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) but has little effect on the febrile response to intravenous or intramuscular LPS. This suggests that some vagus-mediated mechanisms are recruited only when LPS is administered via the intraperitoneal route. We hypothesized that such mechanisms are associated with LPS transport from the peritoneal cavity to the circulation. Adult Wistar rats underwent total subdiaphragmatic, bilateral selective celiac, or sham vagotomy. On day 28-32 after surgery, they were injected IP with Escherichia coli LPS (5, 20, or 100 microg/kg) or saline and decapitated 90 min thereafter. Their plasma levels of LPS and their plasma interleukin-6, adrenocorticotropin, and corticosterone responses to LPS were measured. Success of intraperitoneal administration of LPS was verified by increased interleukin-1beta and interleukin-6 concentrations in the peritoneal lavage fluid. Effectiveness of vagotomies was confirmed by increased stomach mass (food retention) and pancreas mass (hypertrophy). In the shams, LPS caused a dose-dependent endotoxemia and increased plasma levels of interleukin-6, adrenocorticotropin, and corticosterone. Neither celiac nor total vagotomy affected any of these responses. LPS escapes from the peritoneal cavity by two primary routes, viz., the hematogenous (via the portal vein) and lymphogenous (via the lymphatic system). The design of the present study did not allow for evaluating the rapid, hematogenous transport. The results obtained suggest that the abdominal vagus does not control the slow. lymphogenous escape of LPS from the peritoneal cavity.