The present experiments were designed to study under what circumstances middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion by an intraluminal filament technique leads to hyperthermia and what the mechanisms are. We found that permanent MCA occlusion by this technique lead to a rise in body (core) temperature to 39.0-39.5 degrees C during the first 2-4 h, and to sustained hyperthermia thereafter (38.5-39.0 degrees C). After 2 h of transient MCA occlusion hyperthermia could only be avoided if anesthesia (with control of temperature) was maintained for 2 h of ischemia and 1 h of recirculation or, in unanesthetized animals, if external cooling was maintained for 2 h of ischemia and 2 h of recirculation. Control of temperature only during ischemia did not prevent a postischemic rise in temperature. One hour of MCA occlusion had less effect on body temperature. Results are presented which suggest that the hyperthermia observed is due to an interference, by the intraluminal filament, of circulation to hypothalamic centers regulating body temperature. It is speculated that the hyperthermia induced may blunt or obliterate the effect of drugs, normally considered to ameliorate brain damage due to focal ischemia.