Dynamics of PHA-induced immune response and plasma carotenoids in birds: should we have a closer look? - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Experimental Biology Year : 2009

Dynamics of PHA-induced immune response and plasma carotenoids in birds: should we have a closer look?

Abstract

Allocation trade-offs of limited resources are thought to ensure the honesty of sexual signals and are often studied using controlled immune challenges. One such trade-off between immunity and ornaments is that involving carotenoids. Phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-induced immune response is a widely used immune challenge, yet more details on the underlying physiological mechanisms and potential costs are needed. We investigated the temporal dynamics of PHA-induced immune response and associated changes in blood carotenoids, body mass and a carotenoid-based coloured signal. We found variation in individual response patterns to PHA after peak swelling was reached, with birds showing either a rapid or a slow subsequent decrease in swelling, suggesting variation in the duration of the immune response and/or inflammation. Body mass did not affect immune response. Plasma carotenoids followed a transient decrease closely matching the dynamics of the swelling. The peak of the immune response was negatively related to initial plasma carotenoid levels and positively correlated to the relative decrease in plasma carotenoids. Individual variation in duration of the swelling could be partly explained by plasma carotenoids; high initial carotenoid levels were associated with a slower decrease of the swelling. These contradictory effects of carotenoids suggest a complex role in the immune response. Bill colour was positively correlated to initial plasma carotenoid concentration but it did not predict or change as a consequence of immune response to PHA. Bill colour thus reflects medium- or long-term quality rather than immediate quality. Taking into account the dynamics of the immune response and that of associated physiological parameters would thus yield new insights into our interpretation of variation in PHA response.
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Dates and versions

hal-00380669 , version 1 (04-05-2009)

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Clotilde Biard, Clotilde Hardy, Sébastien Motreuil, Jérôme Moreau. Dynamics of PHA-induced immune response and plasma carotenoids in birds: should we have a closer look?. Journal of Experimental Biology, 2009, 212 (Pt 9), pp.1336-1343. ⟨10.1242/jeb.028449⟩. ⟨hal-00380669⟩
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