Subdiaphragmatic vagotomy blocks induction of IL-1 beta mRNA in mice brain in response to peripheral LPS Academic Article uri icon


  • To test the possibility that the vagus nerve is involved in the communication between the immune system and the brain, we injected sham-operated and vagotomized mice with physiological saline or lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 400 micrograms/kg ip). Vagotomy attenuated LPS-induced depression of general activity measured 2 h after treatment but did not alter the increase in plasma levels of IL-1 beta in response to LPS. In addition, vagotomy abrogated the LPS-induced increase in the levels of transcripts for IL-1 beta, as determined by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction after reverse transcription, in the hypothalamus and hippocampus, but not in the pituitary of vagotomized mice. This relationship between the effects of vagotomy on the behavioral effects of LPS and the LPS-induced brain expression of IL-1 beta mRNA indicates that vagal afferent fibers play a prominent role in the pathways of communication between the immune system and the brain.


  • Laye, S
  • Bluthe, RM
  • Kent, S
  • Combe, C
  • Medina, C
  • Parnet, P
  • Kelley, K
  • Dantzer, R

publication date

  • May 1, 1995