Anorexia is an element of the acute-phase immune response. Its mechanisms remain poorly understood. Activation of inducible cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in blood-brain-barrier endothelial cells and subsequent release of prostaglandins (e.g., prostaglandin E2, PGE2) may be involved. Therefore, we sought to relate the effects of prostaglandins on the anorexia following gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharide treatment (LPS) to neural activity in the dorsal and median raphe nuclei (DRN and MnR) in rats. COX-2 antagonist (NS-398, 10mg/kg; IP) administration prior to LPS (100μg/kg; IP) prevented anorexia and reduced c-Fos expression the DRN, MnR, nucleus tractus solitarii and several related forebrain areas. These data indicate that COX-2-mediated prostaglandin synthesis is necessary for LPS anorexia and much of the initial LPS-induced neural activation. Injection of NS-398 into the DRN and MnR (1ng/site) attenuated LPS-induced anorexia to nearly the same extent as IP NS-398, suggesting that prostaglandin signaling in these areas is necessary for LPS anorexia. Because the DRN and MnR are sources of major serotonergic projections to the forebrain, these data suggest that serotonergic neurons originating in the midbrain raphe play an important role in acute-phase response anorexia.