Interleukin (IL)-1 is a major mediator of inflammation and exerts pleiotropic effects on the neuro-immuno-endocrine system. To elucidate pathophysiological roles of IL-1, we have first produced IL-1α/β doubly deficient (KO) mice together with mice deficient in either the IL-1α, IL-1β, or IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) genes. These mice were born healthy, and their growth was normal except for IL-1ra KO mice, which showed growth retardation after weaning. Fever development upon injection with turpentine was suppressed in IL-1β as well as IL-1α/β KO mice, but not in IL-1α KO mice, whereas IL-1ra KO mice showed an elevated response. At this time, expression of IL-1β mRNA in the diencephalon decreased 1.5-fold in IL-1α KO mice, whereas expression of IL-1α mRNA decreased >30-fold in IL-1β KO mice, suggesting mutual induction between IL-1α and IL-1β. This mutual induction was also suggested in peritoneal macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide in vitro. In IL-1β KO mice treated with turpentine, the induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (EC 22.214.171.124) in the diencephalon was suppressed, whereas it was enhanced in IL-1ra KO mice. We also found that glucocorticoid induction 8 h after turpentine treatment was suppressed in IL-1β but not IL-1α KO mice. These observations suggest that IL-1β but not IL-1α is crucial in febrile and neuro-immuno-endocrine responses, and that this is because IL-1α expression in the brain is dependent on IL-1β. The importance of IL-1ra both in normal physiology and under stress is also suggested.