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Context-dependent effects of yolk androgens on nestling growth and immune function in a multi-brooded passerine.

Muriel, Jaime; Salmon, Pablo LU ; Nunez-Buiza, Angel; de Salas, Felipe; Pérez-Rodríguez, Lorenzo; Puerta, Marisa and Gil, Diego (2015) In Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28(8). p.1476-1488
Abstract
Female birds may adjust their offspring phenotype to the specific requirements of the environment by differential allocation of physiologically active substances into yolks, such as androgens. Yolk androgens have been shown to boost embryonic development, growth rate and competitive ability of nestlings, but they can also entail immunological costs. The balance between costs and benefits of androgen allocation is expected to depend on nestling environment. We tested this hypothesis in a multi-brooded passerine, the spotless starling, Sturnus unicolor. We experimentally manipulated yolk androgen levels using a between-brood design, and evaluated its effects on nestling development, survival and immune function. Both in first and replacement... (More)
Female birds may adjust their offspring phenotype to the specific requirements of the environment by differential allocation of physiologically active substances into yolks, such as androgens. Yolk androgens have been shown to boost embryonic development, growth rate and competitive ability of nestlings, but they can also entail immunological costs. The balance between costs and benefits of androgen allocation is expected to depend on nestling environment. We tested this hypothesis in a multi-brooded passerine, the spotless starling, Sturnus unicolor. We experimentally manipulated yolk androgen levels using a between-brood design, and evaluated its effects on nestling development, survival and immune function. Both in first and replacement broods, the embryonic development period was shorter for androgen-treated chicks than controls, but there were no differences in second broods. In replacement broods, androgen-treated chicks were heavier and larger than those hatched from control eggs, but this effect was not observed in the other breeding attempts. Androgen exposure reduced survival with respect to controls only in second broods. Regarding immune function, we detected non-significant trends for androgen treatment to activate two important components of innate and adaptive immunity (IL-6 and Ig-A levels, respectively). Similarly, androgen-treated chicks showed greater lymphocyte proliferation than controls in the first brood and an opposite trend in the second brood. Our results indicate that yolk androgen effects on nestling development and immunity depend on the environmental conditions of each breeding attempt. Variation in maternal androgen allocation to eggs could be explained as the result of context-dependent optimal strategies to maximize offspring fitness. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
volume
28
issue
8
pages
1476 - 1488
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • pmid:26079258
  • wos:000359606200005
  • scopus:84938994137
ISSN
1420-9101
DOI
10.1111/jeb.12668
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3334abe2-0927-4993-9704-f87fff600df8 (old id 7485812)
date added to LUP
2015-08-13 09:14:43
date last changed
2017-03-05 03:00:33
@article{3334abe2-0927-4993-9704-f87fff600df8,
  abstract     = {Female birds may adjust their offspring phenotype to the specific requirements of the environment by differential allocation of physiologically active substances into yolks, such as androgens. Yolk androgens have been shown to boost embryonic development, growth rate and competitive ability of nestlings, but they can also entail immunological costs. The balance between costs and benefits of androgen allocation is expected to depend on nestling environment. We tested this hypothesis in a multi-brooded passerine, the spotless starling, Sturnus unicolor. We experimentally manipulated yolk androgen levels using a between-brood design, and evaluated its effects on nestling development, survival and immune function. Both in first and replacement broods, the embryonic development period was shorter for androgen-treated chicks than controls, but there were no differences in second broods. In replacement broods, androgen-treated chicks were heavier and larger than those hatched from control eggs, but this effect was not observed in the other breeding attempts. Androgen exposure reduced survival with respect to controls only in second broods. Regarding immune function, we detected non-significant trends for androgen treatment to activate two important components of innate and adaptive immunity (IL-6 and Ig-A levels, respectively). Similarly, androgen-treated chicks showed greater lymphocyte proliferation than controls in the first brood and an opposite trend in the second brood. Our results indicate that yolk androgen effects on nestling development and immunity depend on the environmental conditions of each breeding attempt. Variation in maternal androgen allocation to eggs could be explained as the result of context-dependent optimal strategies to maximize offspring fitness. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Muriel, Jaime and Salmon, Pablo and Nunez-Buiza, Angel and de Salas, Felipe and Pérez-Rodríguez, Lorenzo and Puerta, Marisa and Gil, Diego},
  issn         = {1420-9101},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {1476--1488},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  title        = {Context-dependent effects of yolk androgens on nestling growth and immune function in a multi-brooded passerine.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12668},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2015},
}