The effect of alpha-lipoic acid on sickness behavior, LPS-induced fever, antioxidant capacity, and plasma reactive oxygen species in Mus musculus

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2017 Anna R. Bigney. All rights reserved.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biology Department

First Advisor

Sara Hiebert Burch


The sickness response is a set of behavioral and physiological responses to infection including anorexia, adipsia, lethargy, fever, and reactive oxygen species production. Antioxidants, including alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), have been shown to alleviate the sickness response. Twenty mice, Mus musculus, were given ALA or a control treatment for 30 days and then injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce a sickness response. ALA significantly decreased water consumption and changed the time course of the fever. A ceiling effect likely occurred as the sickness response was greater during the experiment, when blood samples were taken, than during the LPS dosage trials when blood was not taken, obscuring the effects of ALA on the LPS-induced sickness response.

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