Abstract The ventral septal area (VSA) has been shown to be a region within the rat brain where arginine vasopressin (AVP) acts to reduce fever. To test the hypothesis that destruction of this area would affect the magnitude of the febrile response, body temperature was monitored in male, Wistar rats given intracerebroventricular injections of prostaglandin E 1 (200 ng) and saline (10 μl) before and after bilateral injections of kainic acid (KA) or of saline vehicle into the VSA. While fever heights were unaffected by the lesion, fever in the KA-lesioned animals remained significantly elevated ( P < 0.05) for 1 h after the peak response. There was no significant difference in the fever responses displayed by sham-lesioned animals. The body temperature response of non-febrile animals to high or low ambient temperature was unaffected by the lesions. The enhanced fever following the KA lesion, but not sham lesions of the VSA would support the hypothesis that this region is involved in endogenous suppression of fever.