To find out some Swedish researchers at the University of Linkoping, coordinated by Daniel Bjork Wilhelms, who published the study in the journal The Journal of Neuroscience, and that this discovery opens the way to more effective drugs. Fever is a response to inflammation, but “in the case of severe infections – says David Engblom, one of the researchers – may be a good thing.” Engblom already eleven years ago had discovered the mechanism behind the formation of prostaglandin E2 during fever. These signaling molecules can not pass through the blood-brain barrier, the purpose of which is to protect the brain from harmful substances.
The Swedish researcher has shown instead that can be synthesized by two enzymes present in the blood vessels of the brain, before they move to the hypothalamus, where the ‘thermostat of our body. In this study, tests were conducted on the mice lacking the enzymes COX-2 and mPGES-1 in the blood vessels of the brain. Once infected animals with bacterial toxins, they saw that the fever did not appear, while the other symptoms of inflammation, yes. “This shows – still – that prostaglandins responsible for the fever are formed in the blood-brain barrier and nowhere else.”
For physicians to know the mechanism of fever is useful from several points of view, as stated Giuseppe Remuzzi, an immunologist and director of the Mario Negri Institute in Bergamo. “Knowing that there is a local production of prostaglandins from these small vessels of the brain is also useful for the purposes of the drugs – he explains – There are already selective inhibitors of E2, but that compared to aspirin, while giving less stomach problems, increased the risk of heart attacks. Now you can create more selective drugs to control fevers and the most dangerous. “
Delete the fever if it is not always a good thing, because fever is a defense mechanism. “Should delete the negative effects associated with fever – concludes Remuzzi – such as pain, fatigue and loss of appetite, fever and dangerous, which may become seizure and damage to newborns. In the future, perhaps we will be able to do designing of drugs that act on the receptors responsible for other symptoms. “