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Oxidative stress and information content of black and yellow plumage coloration: An experiment with greenfinches

Hõrak, P.; Sild, Elin LU ; Soomets, U.; Sepp, T. and Kilk, K. (2010) In Journal of Experimental Biology 213(13). p.2225-2233
Abstract
Carotenoid and melanin pigments in the plumage of birds are hypothesized to be sensitive to oxidative stress. We manipulated oxidative status of captive greenfinches (Carduelis chloris L.) by the administration of buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a selective inhibitor of the synthesis of glutathione (GSH), an intracellular antioxidant. Half of the birds in the treated group, as well as in the control group, also received dietary carotenoid (lutein) supplementation. BSO treatment reduced erythrocyte GSH levels and caused oxidative damage as indicated by the increased concentration of plasma malondialdehyde (MDA), an end product of lipid peroxidation. BSO treatment also reduced the brightness (i.e. increased blackness) of the tips of tail... (More)
Carotenoid and melanin pigments in the plumage of birds are hypothesized to be sensitive to oxidative stress. We manipulated oxidative status of captive greenfinches (Carduelis chloris L.) by the administration of buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a selective inhibitor of the synthesis of glutathione (GSH), an intracellular antioxidant. Half of the birds in the treated group, as well as in the control group, also received dietary carotenoid (lutein) supplementation. BSO treatment reduced erythrocyte GSH levels and caused oxidative damage as indicated by the increased concentration of plasma malondialdehyde (MDA), an end product of lipid peroxidation. BSO treatment also reduced the brightness (i.e. increased blackness) of the tips of tail feathers grown during the experiment. These results show that a low systemic GSH level is required for development of eumelanin plumage coloration and that such a low GSH level is also potentially dangerous for the organism. Carotenoid supplementation increased plasma carotenoid levels and chroma of the yellow parts of the feathers grown during the experiment. However, carotenoid supplementation did not reduce plasma MDA levels. Manipulation of GSH did not affect plasma carotenoids or carotenoid-based plumage coloration. These findings argue against the antioxidant function of lutein in vivo and carotenoid signaling of antioxidant status. © 2010. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Buthionine sulfoximine, Carduelis chloris, Carotenoids, Eumelanin, Glutathione, Malondialdehyde, Oxidative damage, Oxidative stress, Passerine, Plumage coloration
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
213
issue
13
pages
2225 - 2233
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:77953580596
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/​jeb.042085
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
2e822297-3ee7-4ba0-af0a-2339bbda24bb (old id 3359177)
date added to LUP
2013-01-15 16:23:58
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:50:26
@article{2e822297-3ee7-4ba0-af0a-2339bbda24bb,
  abstract     = {Carotenoid and melanin pigments in the plumage of birds are hypothesized to be sensitive to oxidative stress. We manipulated oxidative status of captive greenfinches (Carduelis chloris L.) by the administration of buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a selective inhibitor of the synthesis of glutathione (GSH), an intracellular antioxidant. Half of the birds in the treated group, as well as in the control group, also received dietary carotenoid (lutein) supplementation. BSO treatment reduced erythrocyte GSH levels and caused oxidative damage as indicated by the increased concentration of plasma malondialdehyde (MDA), an end product of lipid peroxidation. BSO treatment also reduced the brightness (i.e. increased blackness) of the tips of tail feathers grown during the experiment. These results show that a low systemic GSH level is required for development of eumelanin plumage coloration and that such a low GSH level is also potentially dangerous for the organism. Carotenoid supplementation increased plasma carotenoid levels and chroma of the yellow parts of the feathers grown during the experiment. However, carotenoid supplementation did not reduce plasma MDA levels. Manipulation of GSH did not affect plasma carotenoids or carotenoid-based plumage coloration. These findings argue against the antioxidant function of lutein in vivo and carotenoid signaling of antioxidant status. © 2010. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.},
  author       = {Hõrak, P. and Sild, Elin and Soomets, U. and Sepp, T. and Kilk, K.},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {Buthionine sulfoximine,Carduelis chloris,Carotenoids,Eumelanin,Glutathione,Malondialdehyde,Oxidative damage,Oxidative stress,Passerine,Plumage coloration},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {13},
  pages        = {2225--2233},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Oxidative stress and information content of black and yellow plumage coloration: An experiment with greenfinches},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/​jeb.042085},
  volume       = {213},
  year         = {2010},
}