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Growing old with the immune system: a study of immunosenescence in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

Noreen E, Bourgeon S, Bech C - J. Comp. Physiol. B, Biochem. Syst. Environ. Physiol. (2011)

Bottom Line: Males showed stronger responses than females at all ages.In contrast, an increase with age in humoral immunity, quantified through total plasma immunoglobulin Y levels, was found in both sexes.However, our measurements of innate immunity measured through the bacteria-killing ability against Escherichia coli gave inconclusive results.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491, Trondheim, Norway. elin.noreen@bio.ntnu.no

ABSTRACT
Immunosenescence has not received much attention in birds and the few existing studies indicate that the occurrence of immunosenescence and/or its extent may differ between species. In addition, not much information is available on the immunosenescence patterns of different immune parameters assessed simultaneously in both sexes within a single species. The present study reports the results on immunosenescence in innate immunity and both cellular and humoral acquired immunity of both sexes in a captive population of zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) using three age groups (approximately 0.2, 2.5 and 5.1 years). Both male and female finches showed an inverse U-shaped pattern in cellular immune function with age, quantified by a PHA response. Males showed stronger responses than females at all ages. In contrast, an increase with age in humoral immunity, quantified through total plasma immunoglobulin Y levels, was found in both sexes. However, our measurements of innate immunity measured through the bacteria-killing ability against Escherichia coli gave inconclusive results. Still, we conclude that both cellular and humoral acquired immunity are susceptible to immunosenescence, and that the sexes differ in cellular immunity.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Cell-mediated immunity (mm) of young, mid-aged and old zebra finches (mean ± SE). Open symbols show females, while closed symbols show males (see text for statistics)
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Fig1: Cell-mediated immunity (mm) of young, mid-aged and old zebra finches (mean ± SE). Open symbols show females, while closed symbols show males (see text for statistics)

Mentions: Cell-mediated immunity quantified through PHA response did not vary with handling time or time of injection (P > 0.75), both parameters being experimentally controlled for and confined to narrow intervals of 142–326 s and 08:27–10:59 a.m. respectively. Neither did we find any effect of body condition on cellular immunity (Table 1). However, the PHA response did vary with both age and sex (Table 1; Fig. 1). Post hoc comparisons using the Tukey test showed that mean CMI for the mid-age group (0.97 ± 0.038 mm) was significantly higher than that of the old group (0.75 ± 0.039 mm; P < 0.001). The mean CMI of the young group (0.86 ± 0.039 mm) did not differ significantly from neither the mid-age group (P = 0.137) nor the old group (P = 0.096). There was a statistically significant difference between males and females, with males having stronger cellular immune function than females (Table 1; mean value for males being 0.93 ± 0.032 mm, and for females 0.79 ± 0.032 mm) independently of the age group.Table 1


Growing old with the immune system: a study of immunosenescence in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

Noreen E, Bourgeon S, Bech C - J. Comp. Physiol. B, Biochem. Syst. Environ. Physiol. (2011)

Cell-mediated immunity (mm) of young, mid-aged and old zebra finches (mean ± SE). Open symbols show females, while closed symbols show males (see text for statistics)
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3118007&req=5

Fig1: Cell-mediated immunity (mm) of young, mid-aged and old zebra finches (mean ± SE). Open symbols show females, while closed symbols show males (see text for statistics)
Mentions: Cell-mediated immunity quantified through PHA response did not vary with handling time or time of injection (P > 0.75), both parameters being experimentally controlled for and confined to narrow intervals of 142–326 s and 08:27–10:59 a.m. respectively. Neither did we find any effect of body condition on cellular immunity (Table 1). However, the PHA response did vary with both age and sex (Table 1; Fig. 1). Post hoc comparisons using the Tukey test showed that mean CMI for the mid-age group (0.97 ± 0.038 mm) was significantly higher than that of the old group (0.75 ± 0.039 mm; P < 0.001). The mean CMI of the young group (0.86 ± 0.039 mm) did not differ significantly from neither the mid-age group (P = 0.137) nor the old group (P = 0.096). There was a statistically significant difference between males and females, with males having stronger cellular immune function than females (Table 1; mean value for males being 0.93 ± 0.032 mm, and for females 0.79 ± 0.032 mm) independently of the age group.Table 1

Bottom Line: Males showed stronger responses than females at all ages.In contrast, an increase with age in humoral immunity, quantified through total plasma immunoglobulin Y levels, was found in both sexes.However, our measurements of innate immunity measured through the bacteria-killing ability against Escherichia coli gave inconclusive results.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491, Trondheim, Norway. elin.noreen@bio.ntnu.no

ABSTRACT
Immunosenescence has not received much attention in birds and the few existing studies indicate that the occurrence of immunosenescence and/or its extent may differ between species. In addition, not much information is available on the immunosenescence patterns of different immune parameters assessed simultaneously in both sexes within a single species. The present study reports the results on immunosenescence in innate immunity and both cellular and humoral acquired immunity of both sexes in a captive population of zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) using three age groups (approximately 0.2, 2.5 and 5.1 years). Both male and female finches showed an inverse U-shaped pattern in cellular immune function with age, quantified by a PHA response. Males showed stronger responses than females at all ages. In contrast, an increase with age in humoral immunity, quantified through total plasma immunoglobulin Y levels, was found in both sexes. However, our measurements of innate immunity measured through the bacteria-killing ability against Escherichia coli gave inconclusive results. Still, we conclude that both cellular and humoral acquired immunity are susceptible to immunosenescence, and that the sexes differ in cellular immunity.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus