We have previously demonstrated that illness-inducing agents (lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) and inflammatory agents (subcutaneous (s.c.) formalin) induce hyperalgesia by similar pathways. The present series of experiments compared the effects of medullary lesions on these phenomena. These experiments demonstrate that s.c. formalin-induced hyperalgesia, like illness-induced hyperalgesia, is dependent on the nucleus raphe magnus (NRM) but independent of the nucleus reticularis paragigantocellularis (NRPgc). However, these two forms of hyperalgesia differ with regards to their dependence on the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). Illness-induced hyperalgesia is abolished by unilateral (left) NTS lesions, whereas formalin-induced hyperalgesia remains unaffected by this procedure. These data provide further evidence that hyperalgesias induced by illness agents and by inflammatory agents are mediated by similar but not identical pathways. They also illustrate that neural structures have the capacity for opposed actions, in that both the NTS and NRM are documented to underlie hyperalgesia as well as analgesia. This capacity for opposed action may prove to be characteristic of structures involved in pain modulation.