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Effects of carotenoids, immune activation and immune suppression on the intensity of chronic coccidiosis in greenfinches

Sepp, T.; Karu, U.; Sild, Elin LU ; Männiste, M. and Hõrak, P. (2011) In Experimental Parasitology 127(3). p.651-657
Abstract
Allocation trade-offs of carotenoids between their use in the immune system and production of integumentary colouration have been suggested as a proximate mechanism maintaining honesty of signal traits. We tested how dietary carotenoid supplementation, immune activation and immune suppression affect intensity of coccidian infection in captive greenfinches Carduelis chloris, a passerine with carotenoid-based plumage. Immune activation with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) decreased body mass among birds not supplemented with lutein, while among the carotenoid-fed birds, PHA had no effect on mass dynamics. Immune suppression with dexamethasone (DEX) induced loss of body mass and reduced the swelling response to PHA. DEX and PHA increased the... (More)
Allocation trade-offs of carotenoids between their use in the immune system and production of integumentary colouration have been suggested as a proximate mechanism maintaining honesty of signal traits. We tested how dietary carotenoid supplementation, immune activation and immune suppression affect intensity of coccidian infection in captive greenfinches Carduelis chloris, a passerine with carotenoid-based plumage. Immune activation with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) decreased body mass among birds not supplemented with lutein, while among the carotenoid-fed birds, PHA had no effect on mass dynamics. Immune suppression with dexamethasone (DEX) induced loss of body mass and reduced the swelling response to PHA. DEX and PHA increased the concentration of circulating heterophils. Lutein supplementation increased plasma carotenoid levels but had no effect on the swelling response induced by PHA. PHA and DEX treatments did not affect plasma carotenoids. Immune stimulation by PHA suppressed the infection, but only among carotenoid-supplemented birds. Priming of the immune system can thus aid in suppressing chronic infection but only when sufficient amount of carotenoids is available. Our experiment shows the importance of carotenoids in immune response, but also the complicated nature of this impact, which could be the reason for inconsistent results in studies investigating the immunomodulatory effects of carotenoids. The findings about involvement of carotenoids in modulation of an immune response against coccidiosis suggest that carotenoid-based ornaments may honestly signal individuals' ability to manage chronic infections. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Carotenoids, Coccidians, Dexamethasone, Greenfinches, Immune system, Phytohaemagglutinin
in
Experimental Parasitology
volume
127
issue
3
pages
651 - 657
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:79951726505
ISSN
0014-4894
DOI
10.1016/j.exppara.2010.12.004
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
4483473e-0558-433c-9f6b-875bf911f4f4 (old id 3359217)
alternative location
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014489410003577
date added to LUP
2013-01-16 12:25:21
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:43:28
@article{4483473e-0558-433c-9f6b-875bf911f4f4,
  abstract     = {Allocation trade-offs of carotenoids between their use in the immune system and production of integumentary colouration have been suggested as a proximate mechanism maintaining honesty of signal traits. We tested how dietary carotenoid supplementation, immune activation and immune suppression affect intensity of coccidian infection in captive greenfinches Carduelis chloris, a passerine with carotenoid-based plumage. Immune activation with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) decreased body mass among birds not supplemented with lutein, while among the carotenoid-fed birds, PHA had no effect on mass dynamics. Immune suppression with dexamethasone (DEX) induced loss of body mass and reduced the swelling response to PHA. DEX and PHA increased the concentration of circulating heterophils. Lutein supplementation increased plasma carotenoid levels but had no effect on the swelling response induced by PHA. PHA and DEX treatments did not affect plasma carotenoids. Immune stimulation by PHA suppressed the infection, but only among carotenoid-supplemented birds. Priming of the immune system can thus aid in suppressing chronic infection but only when sufficient amount of carotenoids is available. Our experiment shows the importance of carotenoids in immune response, but also the complicated nature of this impact, which could be the reason for inconsistent results in studies investigating the immunomodulatory effects of carotenoids. The findings about involvement of carotenoids in modulation of an immune response against coccidiosis suggest that carotenoid-based ornaments may honestly signal individuals' ability to manage chronic infections. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.},
  author       = {Sepp, T. and Karu, U. and Sild, Elin and Männiste, M. and Hõrak, P.},
  issn         = {0014-4894},
  keyword      = {Carotenoids,Coccidians,Dexamethasone,Greenfinches,Immune system,Phytohaemagglutinin},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {651--657},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Experimental Parasitology},
  title        = {Effects of carotenoids, immune activation and immune suppression on the intensity of chronic coccidiosis in greenfinches},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2010.12.004},
  volume       = {127},
  year         = {2011},
}