Central and peripheral prostaglandins are involved in sickness behavior in birds

R. W. Johnson, S. E. Curtis, R. Dantzer, K. W. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many of the behavioral manifestations of mammals and birds following infection are now recognized as important mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis and promoting recovery. To investigate the role of prostaglandins (PGs) in the behavioral and physiological effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in birds, chickens were injected with indomethacin (Ind) peripherally (IP, 5 mg) or centrally (ICV, 100 μg) and their behavior and body temperature following a challenge IP injection of LPS (2.5 mg) were assessed at 1 and 2 h, respectively. Pretreatment with Ind IP or ICV completely inhibited the hyperthermia caused by LPS. Ind injected IP but not ICV significantly attenuated the LPS-induced anorexia. The drowsiness caused by LPS was completely inhibited by Ind injected IP and partially inhibited by Ind administered ICV. These results are interpreted to indicate that LPS induces hyperthermia in the chicken by activating a PG system in the brain. Peripheral PGs appear to be involved in the anorectic response to LPS, whereas drowsiness caused by LPS may involve both peripheral and central PGs. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that multiple PG systems are activated during the acute-phase response, which may explain the dissociation between mechanisms controlling the behavioral and physiological responses to infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993


  • Behavior
  • Chicken
  • Fever
  • Indomethacin
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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