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No reports are available about the role of central adenosine in the respiratory and thermoregulatory responses to hypoxia in conscious rats. We therefore measured ventilation (VE) and body temperature (Tb) before and after intracerebroventricular injection of saline or aminophylline (adenosine antagonist), followed by a 30-min period of hypoxia exposure. Aminophylline did not change VE or Tb during normoxia; however, during hypoxia, it caused a significant increase in VE, and significantly attenuated hypoxic hypothermia. The present data indicate that central adenosine has an inhibitory effect on hypoxic hyperventilation and partially causes hypoxic hypothermia, suggesting that the ventilatory and metabolic interaction during hypoxia does not involve opposing mechanisms.