Researchers have discovered a fever trigger in lab mice and succeeded in switching it off by removing specific hormone receptors in a tiny spot in the brain. The study is likely to lead to the development of drugs efficiently targeted to controlling fever, Reuters reports. The trigger is one of several receptors in the brain for prostglandin E2, a hormone generated when white blood cells tackle infectons.
The study team methodically eliminated genes for various receptors to isolate the fever response. Other receptors may be linked to different symptoms, such as fatigue and loss of appetite associated with infection. "Ultimately, you may be able to manipulate those circuits with drugs," said the lead researcher. "The trick is you need to know which circuits were involved in each of these things."