Diurnal variation in endotoxin-induced mortality in mice: correlation with proinflammatory factors

Chronobiol Int. 2009 Oct;26(7):1430-42. doi: 10.3109/07420520903408358.


Many immune parameters exhibit daily and circadian oscillations, including the number of circulating cells and levels of cytokines in the blood. Mice also have a differential susceptibility to lipopolysaccharide (LPS or endotoxin)-induced endotoxic shock, depending on the administration time in the 24 h light-dark (LD) cycle. We replicated these results in LD, but we did not find temporal differences in LPS-induced mortality in constant darkness (DD). Animals challenged with LPS showed only transient effects on their wheel locomotor activity rhythm without modification of circadian period and phase. Levels of several key factors involved in the pathology of sepsis and septic shock were tested in LD. We found that LPS-induced levels of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, JE (MCP-1), and MIP1alpha were significantly higher at zeitgeber time (ZT) 11 (time of increased mortality) than at ZT19 (ZT12 = time of lights-off in the animal quarters for the 12L:12D condition). Our results indicate that the differences found in mortality that are dependent on the time of LPS-challenge are not directly related to an endogenous circadian clock, and that some relevant immune factors in the development of sepsis are highly induced at ZT11, the time of higher LPS-induced mortality, compared to ZT19.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokines / blood
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects
  • Circadian Rhythm / immunology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Photoperiod
  • Shock, Septic / etiology
  • Shock, Septic / immunology
  • Shock, Septic / physiopathology


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Lipopolysaccharides