Fetal Alcohol Exposure Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide‐Induced Fever in Rats

Raz Yirmiya*, Michelle L. Pilati, Francesco Chiappelli, Anna N. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Exposure to alcohol in utero can lead to long‐lasting impairments of immune functions and to decreased resistance to infectious agents. We studied the effects of fetal alcohol exposure (FAE) in rats on the core body temperature response to an exogenous challenge of the immune system with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We report that FAE rats show markedly decreased LPS‐induced fever [i.e., they require a higher dose than control rats to show any LPS‐induced hyperthermia (50 μg/kg vs. 10 μg/kg)], and even with the higher LPS dose they manifest a weaker hyperthermia, which declines faster than in control animals. These results suggest that FAE produces an impairment in the release of endogenous pyrogens and/or in the neural substrate for body temperature regulation. This impairment may account for at least some of the decreased resistance to infections observed in FAE animals and humans.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)906-910
Number of pages5
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1993


  • Endogenous Pyrogens
  • Fetal‐Alcohol Exposure
  • Fever
  • Immunosuppression
  • Lipopolysaccharide


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