Endogenous antipyretics

Clin Chim Acta. 2006 Sep;371(1-2):13-24. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2006.02.013. Epub 2006 Mar 6.


The febrile increase of body temperature is regarded as a component of the complex host response to infection or inflammation that accompanies the activation of the immune system. Late phases of fever appear mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines called endogenous pyrogens. The rise of body temperature is beneficial because it accelerates several components of the activated immune system. To prevent an excessive and dangerous rise of body temperature the febrile response is controlled, limited in strength and duration, and sometimes even prevented by the actions of endogenous antipyretic substances liberated systemically or within the brain during fever. In most cases the antipyretic effects are achieved by an inhibitory influence on the formation or action of endogenous pyrogens, or by effects on neuronal thermoregulatory circuits that are activated during fever. Endogenous antipyretic substances include steroid hormones, neuropeptides, cytokines and other molecules. It is the purpose of this review to consider the current state in the research on endogenous antipyretic systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Body Temperature Regulation / drug effects*
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Fever / drug therapy
  • Fever / pathology*
  • Glucocorticoids / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infections / drug therapy
  • Infections / pathology*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neuropeptides / physiology
  • Pyrogens / metabolism
  • Steroids / physiology


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Cytokines
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Neuropeptides
  • Pyrogens
  • Steroids