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Grabbe, Niklas; Kaspers, Bernd; Ott, Daniela; Murgott, Jolanta; Gerstberger, Rüdiger; Roth, Joachim (2020): Neurons and astrocytes of the chicken hypothalamus directly respond to lipopolysaccharide and chicken interleukin-6. In: Journal of Comparative Physiology B-Biochemical Systems and Environmental Physiology, Vol. 190, No. 1: pp. 75-85
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In 4-5-month-old chicken, intravenous injections of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced a dose-dependent fever response and a pronounced increase of circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6). To assess a possible role for IL-6 in the brain of birds, a hypothalamic neuro-glial primary culture from 1-day-old chicken was established. Each well of cultured hypothalamic cells contained some 615 neurons, 1350 astrocytes, and 580 microglial cells on average. Incubation of chicken hypothalamic primary cultures with 10 or 100 mu g/ml LPS induced a dose-dependent release of bioactive IL-6 into the supernatant. Populations of hypothalamic neurons (4%) and astrocytes (12%) directly responded to superfusion with buffer containing 10 mu g/ml LPS with a transient increase of intracellular calcium, a sign of direct cellular activation. Stimulation of hypothalamic cultures with buffer containing 50 ng/ml chicken IL-6 induced calcium signaling in 11% of neurons and 22% of astrocytes investigated. These results demonstrate that IL-6 is produced in the periphery and in the hypothalamus in response to LPS in chicken. The observed cellular responses of hypothalamic cells to chicken IL-6 indicate that this cytokine may readily be involved in the manifestation of fever in the avian hypothalamus.