To investigate the mechanisms involved in hemin-induced febrile response, the rectal temperature of rats were measured after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of hemin, with or without antagonists. Hemin (10 microg) elicited a significant febrile response, which lasted from 30 min, to more than 6 h, after its administration, but this was not the case with biliverdin (i.c.v.) and bilirubin (i.c.v.). The hemin-induced febrile response was significantly inhibited by pretreatment with an inhibitor of tyrosine kinase (genistein), but not by pretreatment with an inhibitor of protein kinase C (chelerythrine) and a scavenger of iron (deferoxamine). These results suggest that tyrosine kinase is involved in the hemin-induced febrile response.