A specific enzyme that is a central part in the regulation of body temperature has been identified by a research team at Linkoping University, Sweden. The enzyme is a potential target in the development of new and selective fever reducing drugs.
Professor Anders Blomqvist, MD David Engblom and co-authors are publishing their findings in Nature Neuroscience.
Fever is caused when small, easily diffusible molecules known as prostaglandin E2 are bonded to receptors on deep neural structures and change the brains thermostat. However, the prostaglandins are not produced until the specific enzyme mPGES-1 signal an ongoing inflammation somewhere in the body.
By using genetically modified mice the researchers found evidence of this function. A group of mice lacking the gene for mPGES-1 were injected with a bacterial extraction. The same injection was given to a group of wild-type mice. The result was a consistent elevation of body temperature in the wild-type group, while modified mice remained feverless.
Anders Blomqvist | alfa
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