Cytokines and fever

Neuroimmunomodulation. Jul-Aug 1995;2(4):216-23. doi: 10.1159/000097199.


Fever is an excellent example of neuroimmunomodulation in that mediators of immunity initiate a pathway to raise the thermoregulatory set-point, resulting in behavioral and physiological responses that increase body temperature. This rise in temperature is thought to be adaptive, facilitating host defenses. Many cytokines are endogenous mediators of fever (i.e. endogenous pyrogens), including interleukin (IL)-, 1 beta, IL-6 and others. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha may be both an endogenous pyrogen and an endogenous antipyretic or cryogen, depending on the nature of the inflammatory stimuli. Although there is evidence that cytokines within the hypothalamus initiate fever, recent findings indicate that the signal to increase these brain cytokines may be neural (i.e. from peripheral nerves), rather than humoral (i.e. circulating endogenous pyrogen).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Fever / metabolism*
  • Neuroimmunomodulation*
  • Turpentine / pharmacology


  • Cytokines
  • Turpentine