Stress-induced fever after postischemic rectal temperature measurements in the gerbil

Darren L. Clark, Suzanne B. DeBow, Melanie D. Iseke, Frederick Colbourne

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Postischemic temperature, which modulates brain injury, is commonly determined via a rectal temperature (Trec) probe. This procedure causes a stress-induced fever (SIF) in rodents that may aggravate injury or diminish the efficacy of a neuroprotectant. We continually measured core temperature (Tcore) via an implanted telemetry probe and made 16 Trec measurements over 4 days in sham and ischemic gerbils (5 min bilateral carotid artery occlusion). Controls did not have Trec sampled, but Tcore was measured. Rectal temperature measurements predicted Tcore in sham and ischemic gerbils. The Trec measurements caused a SIF (1°C peak) in shams that did not habituate, whereas the SIF was initially absent and then increased over days in ischemic gerbils. Ischemic groups had similar CA1 injury (∼32% remaining), presumably because Trec measurements only resulted in a significant SIF starting on day 2 postischemia, when cell death is less sensitive to hyperthermia. Caution is warranted with Trec measurements, since the resultant SIF occurs to different extents in normal and ischemic rodents. Furthermore, the SIF could vary according to many other factors, such as the type and severity of insult, the time and frequency of measurement, and drug treatment. Accordingly, postischemic Trec measurements should be replaced with telemetry probes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-883
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian journal of physiology and pharmacology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2003



  • Gerbil
  • Hyperthermia
  • Ischemia
  • Rectal temperature
  • Stress-induced fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)

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