Effects of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone on fever caused by endotoxin in rabbits

J Physiol. 1991 Sep;441:469-76. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1991.sp018762.


1. We measured the effect of intravenous and intracerebroventricular injections of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) on changes in body temperature and serum iron concentration following i.v. injection of endotoxin in rabbits. 2. Intravenous alpha-MSH (2.5 micrograms) significantly reduced both phases of endotoxin fever and attenuated the fall in serum iron concentration which follows endotoxin injection. 3. Intracerebroventricular alpha-MSH (200 ng) reduced only the second phase of the fever and had no effect on the fall in the serum iron concentrations. 4. We conclude that alpha-MSH, in doses that are known to inhibit endogenous pyrogen fever, inhibits the fever induced by endotoxin in rabbits, probably by blocking the actions of endogenous pyrogens mediating the endotoxin fever.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / drug effects*
  • Endotoxins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Endotoxins / toxicity*
  • Fever / chemically induced
  • Iron / blood*
  • Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Rabbits
  • Salmonella typhi
  • Time Factors


  • Endotoxins
  • Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones
  • Iron