Some regions of the brain are recognized as important for the control of body temperature (Tb). In this context, the preoptic area of the hypothalamus (POA) has a key role. In recent years, studies have focused on the investigation of the function and location of structures in the brain related with control of Tb, but little is known about natural drugs may modulate thermoregulatory responses during the immune challenge. We intend to find out new drug acting on the neurochemical mechanisms involved in the regulation of Tb, particularly those that follow the systemic injection of endotoxin. Recent studies demonstrate an anti-inflammatory action of citral, an essential oil found in various medicinal plants. Thus, it is plausible that citral plays a role as an antipyretic molecule. To test this hypothesis we will use the most accepted model to study thermoregulation during systemic inflammation, i.e., fever induced by low doses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Furthermore, we will assess the mechanisms responsible for this putative antipyretic effect by determining plasma cytokines concentrations: interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6 and TNF, besides PGE2 (the proximal mediator fever) in the POA (CNS region hierarchically more important to control the Tb). Our results are expected to be relevant to the area of knowledge, bringing insights into new drugs of natural origin.
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