Interleukin-1 (IL-1) has been implicated as a critical mediator of neuroimmune communication. In the brain, the functional receptor for IL-1, type 1 IL-1 receptor (IL-1R1), is localized primarily to the endothelial cells. In this study, we created an endothelial-specific IL-1R1 knockdown model to test the role of endothelial IL-1R1 in mediating the effects of IL-1. Neuronal activation in the hypothalamus was measured by c- fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus and the ventromedial preoptic area. In addition, two specific sickness symptoms, febrile response and reduction of locomotor activity, were studied. Intracerebroventricular injection of IL-1 induced leukocyte infiltration into the CNS, activation of hypothalamic neurons, fever, and reduced locomotor activity in normal mice. Endothelial-specific knockdown of IL-1R1 abrogated all these responses. Intraperitoneal injection of IL-1 also induced neuronal activation in the hypothalamus, fever, and reduced locomotor activity, without inducing leukocyte infiltration into the brain. Endothelial-specific knockdown of IL-1R1 suppressed intraperitoneal IL-1-induced fever, but not the induction of c- fos in hypothalamus. When IL-1 was given intravenously, endothelial knockdown of IL-1R1 abolished intravenous IL-1-induced CNS activation and the two monitored sickness symptoms. In addition, endothelial-specific knockdown of IL-1R1 blocked the induction of cyclooxygenase-2 expression induced by all three routes of IL-1 administration. These results show that the effects of intravenous and intracerebroventricular IL-1 are mediated by endothelial IL-1R1, whereas the effects of intraperitoneal IL-1 are partially dependent on endothelial IL-1R1.