IMR Press / FBL / Volume 9 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.2741/1433

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Orexigenic vs. anorexigenic peptides and feeding status in the modulation of fever and hypothermia
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1 Department of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pecs, Hungary
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2004, 9(5), 2746–2763;
Published: 1 September 2004

Prevailing changes in the feeding status or the nutritional status, in general, can modify the expression of many orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides, which influence hypothalamic functions. These peptides usually adjust body temperature according to anabolic (increased appetite with suppressed metabolic rate and body temperature) or catabolic (anorexia with enhanced metabolism and temperature) patterns. It was plausible to presume that such peptides contribute to regulated changes of body temperature (either fever or hypothermia) in systemic inflammation, particularly since anorexia is a common feature in inflammatory processes. No consistent, common, or uniform way of action was, however, demonstrated, which could have described the effects of various peptides. With the exception of cholecystokinin (CCK), all investigated peptides were devoid of real thermoregulatory actions: they influenced the metabolic rate (and consequently body temperature), but not the mechanisms of heat loss. Central CCK is indeed catabolic and may participate in febrigenesis. Leptin may activate various cytokines, catabolic peptides and may inhibit anabolic peptides, but it probably has no direct febrigenic effect and it is not indispensable in fever. Melanocortins and corticotropin-releasing factor provide catabolic adaptive mechanisms to food intake (diet induced thermogenesis) and environmental stress, respectively, but they act rather as endogenous antipyretic substances during systemic inflammation, possibly contributing to the mechanisms of limitation of fever. Bacterial lipopolysaccharides enhance the expression of most of these catabolic peptides. In contrast, neuropeptide Y (NPY) expression may not be changed, only its release is decreased at specific nuclei – a defective NPY effect may also contribute to the febrile rise in body temperature. The data provide no clear-cut explanation for the mechanism of hypothermia seen in systemic inflammation. According to speculations, a presumed "overflow"-type release of NPY from the hypothalamic nuclei, as well as a suppression of the activity of catabolic peptides, could possibly cause hypothermia. There are no cues, however, referring to the identity of factors that could trigger such changes during systemic inflammation in order to induce hypothermia.

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