The effect of maternal immunization on female oxidative status, yolk antioxidants and offspring survival in a songbird
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Comparative biochemistry and physiology : A : molecular & integrative physiology. - London
, p. 56-61
University of Antwerp
Immune defense involves inflammatory reactions in which immune cells produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) to fight pathogens. ROS may however cause damage to the host if they are not balanced by antioxidant defenses. Therefore, one should expect individuals undergoing an immune reaction to use antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress. Antioxidants are vital compounds that provide important protection against oxidative damage of embryos and newly hatched chicks. Thus, during egg laying a female that contracted an infection may face a trade-off between the allocation of antioxidants into self-maintenance and into her offspring via the eggs. In our study we investigated whether immunized females face this trade-off and consequently modify the antioxidant allocation into the eggs and whether this allocation affects offspring performance. We injected female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with lipopolysaccharide prior to egg laying while some females were left unimmunized. We removed the second egg of each clutch, while we allowed the other eggs to hatch. We assessed oxidative stress in females 24 h after immunization, yolk antioxidant capacity of the second egg of the clutch and survival success of the offspring until adulthood. Compared to controls, immunized females had higher oxidative damage, but similar plasma non-enzymatic antioxidant levels. The treatment did not affect yolk antioxidants, clutch size, laying date and offspring survival. However, we found a positive correlation between yolk antioxidant capacity and offspring survival, irrespective of the treatment. Our study suggests that our immune challenge may not have changed female strategy of antioxidant allocation between self-maintenance and offspring survival. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.