Arecoline, a muscarinic cholinergic agonist, was found to depress body temperature and elevate the activity of preactivated natural killer (NK) cells. To demonstrate that the unconditioned responses produced by arecoline were mediated through central nervous system pathways, we used the drug as an unconditioned stimulus. By pairing camphor odor (conditioned stimulus) with arecoline (unconditioned stimulus), it was possible to simultaneously condition both a decrease in body temperature and augmentation of NK cell activity. The observations suggest that although both the modulation of body temperature and NK cell activities are integrated at the level of the hypothalamus, these pathways of regulation can be differentiated. © 1996 S. Karger AG, Basel.