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Does the strength of an immune response reflect its energetic cost?

Nilsson, Jan-Åke LU ; Granbom, Martin LU and Råberg, Lars LU (2007) In Journal of Avian Biology 38(4). p.488-494
Abstract
The energetic cost of immune responses has been proposed to be an important basis for trade-offs between life-history traits, such as between survival and reproduction. A critical assumption of this hypothesis is that the magnitude of the energetic cost increases with the strength of an immune response, so that energy can be saved by partly suppressing a response. Here, we test this assumption experimentally. The immune system of great tits Parus major was experimentally activated by injecting different doses of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) in the wing web. We found the resting metabolic rate of immune challenged birds to increase by 5%. However, although great tits injected with a high dose had a stronger immune response, this was not... (More)
The energetic cost of immune responses has been proposed to be an important basis for trade-offs between life-history traits, such as between survival and reproduction. A critical assumption of this hypothesis is that the magnitude of the energetic cost increases with the strength of an immune response, so that energy can be saved by partly suppressing a response. Here, we test this assumption experimentally. The immune system of great tits Parus major was experimentally activated by injecting different doses of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) in the wing web. We found the resting metabolic rate of immune challenged birds to increase by 5%. However, although great tits injected with a high dose had a stronger immune response, this was not paralleled by a higher metabolic rate. Thus, we found the energetic cost of the immune response to be relatively low and not dose-dependent. This suggests to us that the energetic cost of immune responses cannot form the basis for trade-offs between life-history traits. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Avian Biology
volume
38
issue
4
pages
488 - 494
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000247580800011
  • scopus:34347385484
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/j.2007.0908-8857.03919.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d500174d-60dc-46ad-bebc-5555d953e717 (old id 647720)
date added to LUP
2007-12-14 16:24:37
date last changed
2017-05-28 03:39:44
@article{d500174d-60dc-46ad-bebc-5555d953e717,
  abstract     = {The energetic cost of immune responses has been proposed to be an important basis for trade-offs between life-history traits, such as between survival and reproduction. A critical assumption of this hypothesis is that the magnitude of the energetic cost increases with the strength of an immune response, so that energy can be saved by partly suppressing a response. Here, we test this assumption experimentally. The immune system of great tits Parus major was experimentally activated by injecting different doses of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) in the wing web. We found the resting metabolic rate of immune challenged birds to increase by 5%. However, although great tits injected with a high dose had a stronger immune response, this was not paralleled by a higher metabolic rate. Thus, we found the energetic cost of the immune response to be relatively low and not dose-dependent. This suggests to us that the energetic cost of immune responses cannot form the basis for trade-offs between life-history traits.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Jan-Åke and Granbom, Martin and Råberg, Lars},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {488--494},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology},
  title        = {Does the strength of an immune response reflect its energetic cost?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2007.0908-8857.03919.x},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2007},
}