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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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Percentage of male and female individuals showing plasma E. coli-killing ability in young, mid-aged and old zebra finches
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Fig3: Percentage of male and female individuals showing plasma E. coli-killing ability in young, mid-aged and old zebra finches

Mentions: Among the young finches, seven females and five males (60% of the individuals) exhibited plasma bacteria-killing ability (Fig. 3). There were six females and two males (40%) in the mid-age group, and only three females and no males (15%) in the old age group displaying this ability (Fig. 3). Although the number of females showing plasma bacteria-killing ability did not differ significantly between the age groups [χ2 test for independence: χ2 (2, n = 30) = 3.482. P = 0.175], the number of males that did decreased significantly with age (χ2 test for independence: χ2 (2, n = 30) = 7.081. P = 0.029). Owing to the consecutive low sample size, further analysis on the strength of bactericidal competence was not carried out.Fig. 3


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)

Percentage of male and female individuals showing plasma E. coli-killing ability in young, mid-aged and old zebra finches
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Fig3: Percentage of male and female individuals showing plasma E. coli-killing ability in young, mid-aged and old zebra finches
Mentions: Among the young finches, seven females and five males (60% of the individuals) exhibited plasma bacteria-killing ability (Fig. 3). There were six females and two males (40%) in the mid-age group, and only three females and no males (15%) in the old age group displaying this ability (Fig. 3). Although the number of females showing plasma bacteria-killing ability did not differ significantly between the age groups [χ2 test for independence: χ2 (2, n = 30) = 3.482. P = 0.175], the number of males that did decreased significantly with age (χ2 test for independence: χ2 (2, n = 30) = 7.081. P = 0.029). Owing to the consecutive low sample size, further analysis on the strength of bactericidal competence was not carried out.Fig. 3

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