CCK-8 and PGE1: central effects on circadian body temperature and activity rhythms in rats

Abstract Cholecystokinin-octapeptide (CCK-8) has been shown to possess an acute thermogenic and hyperthermic action when given intracerebroventricularly in slightly restrained rats. To substantiate the febrile nature of that hyperthermia freely moving animals should be used and together with body core temperature, at least one behavioral parameter, such as general activity, should also be recorded. In the present studies, Wistar rats (N=34) exposed to thermoneutral (26-28 degrees C) or cold (4 degrees C) ambient temperature and to a 12:12-h light/darkness schedule were infused intracerebroventricularly with CCK-8 or prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) for several days using ALZET minipump and changes in body core temperature and general activity were recorded by biotelemetry (Minimitter). In rats exposed to a thermoneutral ambient temperature, low doses of CCK-8 induced slight but significant rises of day minima of circadian body temperature rhythm (CBTR) and with a high dose (1 microg/h) of the peptide–infused either at thermoneutrality or during cold exposure–an increase of acrometron could also be recorded. All of these changes were observed only during the first 2-4 days of 7-day-long infusions. Intracerebroventricular infusion of PGE1 administered at thermoneutrality in a dose of 1 microg/h for 7 days induced a marked rise in body core temperature with a disappearance of CBTR in some rats for 2-3 days or with rises of day minima/acrometron in others. General activity–running parallel with CBTR in periods without infusions–tended to be decreased when core temperature rose during the first couple of days of intracerebroventricular infusion of higher doses of CCK-8 or of PGE1. The decreased general activity–one component of sickness behavior–together with an increased body core temperature found in the present study, supports the view that they are components of a genuine fever induced by the central effect of the two mediators used.