Volume 2 Supplement 1
0035. Mitochondrial uncoupling contributes to fever in sepsis
© Greco et al; licensee Springer. 2014
Published: 26 September 2014
The major sources of body heat production are muscle activity, chemical reactions involving ATP synthesis and usage, coupled (oxidative phosphorylation) and uncoupled (proton leak) mitochondrial respiration. The cause of fever associated with sepsis has not been elucidated, particularly in sedated, ventilated patients who neither perform much voluntary skeletal muscle activity nor shiver.
To determine whether the excess heat production in febrile septic rats is mediated by mitochondrial uncoupling, and related to an increase in global oxygen consumption (VO2).
Awake, previously cannulated (tunneled carotid and jugular lines), male Wistar rats (approx. 300g body weight) were placed in metabolic cages to measure VO2. Core temperature was measured intermittently with a rectal probe. Twenty-four hours later, sepsis was induced by i.p. injection of faecal slurry. Sham animals received i.p. saline. Intravenous fluid resuscitation (10 ml/kg/h crystalloid) was started 2 h later. At 6 and 24 hours, animals were randomized to receive an infusion of either the mitochondrial uncoupler dinitrophenol (DNP) (30 mg/Kg) or n-saline over 1 hour. Wilcoxon Rank Sum test was used to compare groups and two-way ANOVA was used to compare change of continuous variables from baseline between groups, with p< 0.05 considered significant.
In febrile septic animals, mitochondrial uncoupling with DNP only produced a small rise in temperature at 6h and 24h, and a subnormal VO2 response at 24h. This implies that increased mitochondrial uncoupling was already active in septic rats and this may explain their fever. The proportion of VO2 directed towards ATP-coupled respiration also appears to be reduced.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.