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Plasma carotenoids and immunity in a despotic avian scavenger

AuthorsPlaza, Pablo I.; Blanco, Guillermo ; Wiemeyer, Guillermo; López-Rull, Isabel ; Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso ; Donázar, José A. ; Hiraldo, F. ; Lambertucci, Sergio A.
Health studies
Immune response
Issue Date10-Jul-2020
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationJournal of Experimental Zoology-Part A-Ecological and Integrative Physiology (2020)
AbstractCarotenoids are pigmented compounds acquired through diet that have important functions as antioxidants and immune modulators. We studied the association between immunity and circulating carotenoids in Andean condors (Vultur gryphus ). We evaluated the relationship between α‐, β‐, and γ‐globulin blood concentrations and different circulating carotenoids in two groups of Andean condors that differ in their mean health status, rehabilitating (suffering different pathologies), and wild individuals (trapped when displaying their physiological behavior). In rehabilitating individuals, α‐, β‐, and γ‐globulin concentrations were higher than in wild individuals. This shows that rehabilitating individuals were developing an immune response associated with the pathologies that they were suffering at the time of sampling. In addition, circulating carotenoids were lower in rehabilitating than in wild individuals. We found negative correlations between α‐, β‐, and γ‐globulins and different circulating carotenoids in rehabilitating individuals, but not in wild condors. Xanthophylls were strongly related to α‐, β‐, and γ‐globulin blood concentrations in rehabilitating, but not in wild condors. Our results suggest that there is a potential relationship between circulating carotenoids and immunity in the Andean condor. Given that this species may display a carotenoid‐based pigmentation, our results could suggest that a trade‐off between the immune system and external coloration could operate in this species, which may have implications in their access to food resources and mate selection and, thus, in their conservation.
Description36 Páginas.-- 3 Figuras.-- 3 Tablas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jez.2397
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