n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Human Cytokine Synthesis

  • Gunther Hartmann
  • Stefan Endres


Fever is a hallmark of disease processes, and today we recognize that several cytokines can mediate fever in animals and humans. The cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and interferon-γ (INF-γ) are called endogenous pyrogens because they produce a similar temperature response by acting in the hypothalamus and initiating the thermoregulatory center to raise body temperature. These endogenous pyrogenic cytokines also trigger other central nervous system (CNS) events such as slow wave sleep and the release of a variety of neuropeptides including corticotropin releasing factor. Since the satiety center is near the pre-optic anterior hypothalamic thermoregulatory center, it is not surprising that appetite might be affected by endogenous pyrogens. In fact, many of the disease states associated with anorexia are febrile diseases. Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus or rheumatoid arthritis are cases in point.


Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Cytokine Synthesis Human Mononuclear Cell Endogenous Pyrogen Thermoregulatory Center 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gunther Hartmann
  • Stefan Endres

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