Fever-like temperature induces maturation of dendritic cells through induction of hsp90

Int Immunol. 2003 Sep;15(9):1053-61. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxg104.


Fever is a phylogenetically conserved biological phenomenon and a common consequence of infection. Here, we examine in vitro and in vivo the effect of febrile temperature on dendritic cells (DC), a key antigen-presenting cell in the immune system. Elevated temperatures are observed to cause immature DC to mature, specifically through elevation of intracellular levels of hsp90. Surprisingly, even brief exposure to elevated temperatures has a powerful effect on the immunostimulatory capacity of DC. These results bear on the mechanisms of the salutary effects of fever as well as of behavioral elevations of temperature such as saunas and warm blankets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Benzoquinones
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology
  • Fever / physiopathology*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nickel / pharmacology
  • Quinones / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Benzoquinones
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic
  • NF-kappa B
  • Quinones
  • nickel chloride
  • Nickel
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • geldanamycin