Menthol and nicotine oppositely modulate body temperature in the rat

Eur J Pharmacol. 2007 Mar 22;559(2-3):161-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.01.006. Epub 2007 Jan 19.


Menthol is a prominent additive in many tobacco products. To investigate possible interactions with nicotine, (-)-menthol (200 or 400 mg/kg) and (-)-nicotine (0.5 mg/kg) were injected subcutaneously in rats, and body temperature, which is modulated by brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, was measured. Nicotine caused robust (-1.6 degrees C) hypothermia, the magnitude and time course of which was not altered by menthol pretreatment. Menthol alone produced mild (0.4-0.8 degrees C) hyperthermia, which was not secondary to locomotor activation. Nicotine and menthol influence body temperature independently and oppositely; menthol does not appear to influence the function of the central nicotinic receptors that control body temperature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / drug effects*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Male
  • Menthol / administration & dosage
  • Menthol / pharmacology*
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Nicotinic Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Nicotinic Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors


  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Menthol
  • Nicotine