Parental experience of a risky environment leads to improved offspring growth rate. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Experimental Biology Year : 2014

Parental experience of a risky environment leads to improved offspring growth rate.

Abstract

Parasites (or diseases) are a major selective force for the evolution of life history traits and parasite-host evolution. Mothers can show a variety of responses to parasites during pregnancy, with different consequences for them or their offspring. However, whether information in the maternal environment before pregnancy can cause a change in the phenotype of the offspring is unknown. To avoid the confounding effect of pathogens and to reduce the risk of a direct effect of maternal immune system activation, we injected female laboratory mice with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) before they mated. In order to provide constant information on the potential infectious risk of the environment, females were mated with males that were also exposed to LPS before mating. Offspring from immune-challenged parents were larger and grew at a faster rate than offspring from control parents (injected with PBS). Additionally, offspring from immune-challenged parents that suffered the most from inflammation grew at a faster rate than offspring from low suffering parents. Producing heavier offspring that will reach sexual maturity earlier is likely to have fitness benefits for parents and offspring through improved reproductive success.

Dates and versions

hal-01056271 , version 1 (18-08-2014)

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Anne A. Besson, Romain Guerreiro, Jérôme Bellenger, Kevin Ragot, Bruno Faivre, et al.. Parental experience of a risky environment leads to improved offspring growth rate.. Journal of Experimental Biology, 2014, 217 (Pt 15), pp.2734-2739. ⟨10.1242/jeb.100818⟩. ⟨hal-01056271⟩
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