Neonatal animals have a proportionately greater risk, relative to the adult animal, of developing a bacterial infection. Research has revealed that such infections can influence biological processes long after the actual infection has been resolved. Indeed, studies examining the long-term alterations induced by early-life infection, simulated using endotoxin, have indicated that some aspects of the systemic inflammatory response in the adult animal are susceptible to modification. Available evidence suggests that altered inflammatory activities observed in the neonatally endotoxin challenged adult may be the result of potentiated hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) activity, specifically increased corticosterone production. Few studies, however, have examined whether altered corticosterone production is actually associated with changes in systemic inflammation in the neonatally endotoxin challenged adult animal. The aim, therefore, of the current study was to simultaneously examine the relationship between altered inflammatory activities and corticosterone production in the neonatally endotoxin challenged adult rat. Our findings demonstrate no significant differences exist between adults neonatally treated with saline or endotoxin in terms of their production of corticosterone following endotoxin challenge. While not appearing to influence the production of corticosterone neonatal endotoxin challenge did result in a marked attenuation in the adult's febrile response following endotoxin challenge. Interestingly, circulating levels of IL-1β and TNF-α were found to be equivalent in neonatal treatment groups following endotoxin administration in adulthood, indicating that the reduction in fever was unlikely to be the result of altered pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Further, no differences were found between neonatal treatment groups in net food consumption, water consumption or weight loss following endotoxin challenge in adulthood. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that neonatal endotoxin challenge does not affect a blanket down regulation of inflammatory processes but rather appears to induce highly specific alterations in the adult male Fischer-344 rat.