The development of a febrile response to pyrogen in the thyroid-deficient rabbit
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The development of the febrile response to E. coli lipopolysaccharide (1.5 μg/kg, i.v.) in thyroid-deficient rabbits has been studied. Twenty-eight New Zealand White rabbits weighing 2.1-2.3 kg were used. Hypothyroidism was induced by treatment with propylthiouracil (100 or 200 mg/kg body wt./15 days). Thyroid-deficient animals showed a reduction in the febrile response to lipopolysaccharide, but the effect was significantly different (p<0.01) from the control only for rabbits treated with 200 mg/kg of propylthiouracil. Propranolol (2 mg/kg, i.p.) given 30 min before lipopolysaccharide also reduced (p<0.01) the fever response in control rabbits. The results of this experiment are consistent with the hypothesis that the reduction in the febrile response of thyroid-deficient rabbits is due to the reduced number of β-adrenergic receptors, or to a change in the availability of neurotransmitter in thermogenically active tissues, such as brown fat.