Systemic administration of [6]-gingerol, a pungent constituent of ginger, induces hypothermia in rats via an inhibitory effect on metabolic rate

Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Apr 14;584(1):87-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.01.031. Epub 2008 Feb 5.


We investigated the effects of systemic administrations of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Zingiberaceae) or its pungent constituent, [6]-gingerol, on resting body temperature in rats. Rats given ginger-containing rat chow for 5 days showed no changes in their day-night cycle of body temperature or physical activity. However, a single intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of [6]-gingerol (2.5 or 25 mg/kg) induced a rapid, marked drop in body temperature in a dose-related manner, with no change in physical activity. A significant decrease in metabolic rate was observed immediately after an i.p. injection of [6]-gingerol (25 mg/kg), although heat-loss responses underwent no alteration (versus vehicle). These results suggest that in rats: (a) a decrease in metabolic rate is responsible for the [6]-gingerol-induced hypothermia, and (b) [6]-gingerol modulates or interferes with the mechanisms underlying body temperature regulation, while other bioactive constituents of ginger may counteract the hypothermic effect of [6]-gingerol.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Basal Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Body Temperature / drug effects*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / drug effects*
  • Catechols
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fatty Alcohols / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Alcohols / toxicity
  • Ginger* / chemistry
  • Hypothermia / chemically induced*
  • Hypothermia / metabolism
  • Hypothermia / physiopathology
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thermogenesis / drug effects


  • Catechols
  • Fatty Alcohols
  • gingerol