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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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Humoral immunity represented by the total immunoglobulin amount (absorbance units) in 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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Fig2: Humoral immunity represented by the total immunoglobulin amount (absorbance units) in young, mid-aged and old zebra finches (mean ± SE). Open symbols show females, while closed symbols show males (see text for statistics)

Mentions: Total plasma levels of IgY did not significantly vary with body condition, nor was there a significant effect of the interaction between age and sex (Table 2). Females tended to have higher IgY levels than males (females 0.332 ± 0.023 absorbance units, males 0.285 ± 0.023 absorbance units, Fig. 2), however, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.094, Table 2). Tukey post hoc tests showed that IgY levels observed in the young group (0.199 ± 0.028 absorbance units) were significantly lower than the levels in both the mid-age (0.324 ± 0.029 absorbance units) and the old group (0.403 ± 0.027 absorbance units, P < 0.001 in both cases). The old group and the mid-age group did, however, not differ significantly in IgY levels (P = 0.144). Nevertheless, the significant effect of age (P < 0.001, Table 2) points to an overall increase in the total plasma IgY levels with age in zebra finches (Fig. 2).Table 2


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)

Humoral immunity represented by the total immunoglobulin amount (absorbance units) in 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

Fig2: Humoral immunity represented by the total immunoglobulin amount (absorbance units) in young, mid-aged and old zebra finches (mean ± SE). Open symbols show females, while closed symbols show males (see text for statistics)
Mentions: Total plasma levels of IgY did not significantly vary with body condition, nor was there a significant effect of the interaction between age and sex (Table 2). Females tended to have higher IgY levels than males (females 0.332 ± 0.023 absorbance units, males 0.285 ± 0.023 absorbance units, Fig. 2), however, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.094, Table 2). Tukey post hoc tests showed that IgY levels observed in the young group (0.199 ± 0.028 absorbance units) were significantly lower than the levels in both the mid-age (0.324 ± 0.029 absorbance units) and the old group (0.403 ± 0.027 absorbance units, P < 0.001 in both cases). The old group and the mid-age group did, however, not differ significantly in IgY levels (P = 0.144). Nevertheless, the significant effect of age (P < 0.001, Table 2) points to an overall increase in the total plasma IgY levels with age in zebra finches (Fig. 2).Table 2

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