Metabolic and febrile responses to typhoid vaccine in humans: effect of beta-adrenergic blockade.

A Cooper, M Horan, R Little, NJ. Rothwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fever and activation of acute phase responses were induced in human volunteers by intramuscular injection of typhoid vaccine. Vaccine injection caused a rapid (within 1 h) and sustained rise in metabolic rate (peak response 16%, 6-8 h), followed by later increases in white blood cell count (3-4 h), skin temperature (4-5 h), oral temperature (5-6 h), heart rate (6-8 h), and plasma cortisol (5-8 h). A peak fever [1.2 +/- 0.2 degree C (SE) rise] was recorded 12 h after vaccine injection. The involvement of the sympathetic nervous system in the development of these responses was investigated by the oral administration of propranolol before (80 mg) and 3 h after (40 mg) vaccine injection. Propranolol prevented the increases in metabolic rate, heart rate, and skin temperature but did not inhibit the rise in oral temperature or white cell count after vaccine administration. These data indicate that the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the rise in energy expenditure associated with fever in humans. However, the rise in body temperature can develop in the absence of this increase in metabolic rate possibly by changes in heat loss.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJ Appl Physiol
Volume72( 6)
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1992


  • etiology: Acute-Phase Reaction
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • etiology: Fever
  • drug effects: Heart Rate
  • Human
  • Male
  • drug effects: Metabolism
  • pharmacology: Propranolol
  • physiology: Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • drug effects: Skin Temperature
  • Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • adverse effects: Typhoid-Paratyphoid Vaccines


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