Closed head trauma (CHT) increases brain tissue prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentration, and that increase is associated with cerebral edema formation and worsening of the neurologic severity score (NSS). Injection of the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysacharride (LPS) increases cerebral and hypothalamic PGE2, and the hypothalamic increase is associated with increased body temperature. The present study determined (a) whether LPS-induced increase of PGE2 causes brain edema or worsens NSS and (b) whether CHT increases hypothalamic PGE2 and thereby increases body temperature. Halothane-anesthetized rats were divided into four groups: group 1 = surgery with no CHT and no LPS (n = 8); group 2 = surgery with LPS and no CHT (n = 8); group 3 = surgery with CHT and no LPS (n = 8); and group 4 = surgery with CHT plus LPS (n = 8). NSS was determined at 1 and 24 h after injury, and brain tissue PGE2 and edema were determined when animals were killed 24 h after injury. As compared with group 1, LPS alone, but not CHT or CHT plus LPS, increased rectal temperature. CHT and CHT plus LPS, but not LPS alone increased brain water content and worsened NSS. LPS, CHT, and CHT plus LPS all increased hypothalamic and cerebral PGE2 production. We conclude that although LPS and CHT increased PGE2 levels, LPS alone did not affect neurologic status or brain edema, CHT did not increase rectal temperature, and addition of LPS to CHT did not aggravate the sequelae of CHT.