Immunoregulatory activity of different dietary carotenoids in male zebra finches

Kevin McGraw, Daniel R. Ardia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many animals use carotenoid pigments to color their integument and become sexually attractive. These colorants can also serve physiological functions, protecting cells and tissues from oxidative damage as well as stimulating the immune system. Because animals often acquire several different carotenoid pigments from their diet, there is the potential for different carotenoids to exhibit different free-radical-scavenging or immunoenhancing activity. We experimentally tested how two common dietary xanthophylls - lutein and zeaxanthin - may differentially affect the immune system in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Male T. guttata derive their red sexual beak colorants from these two carotenoids, and prior studies with this species have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin together boost cell-mediated immunity. We experimentally elevated these two dietary carotenoids separately in two groups of non-breeding zebra finches, but found that lutein-supplemented and zeaxanthin-supplemented males mounted similar cell-mediated immune responses (to phytohaemagglutinin, or PHA). Although zeaxanthin is a more conjugated carotenoid than lutein and has the potential to be a more potent antioxidant, our study suggests that such a subtle structural difference between these two biochemicals does not differentially affect immune performance in this songbird.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalChemoecology
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Finches
Taeniopygia guttata
Equidae
Carotenoids
carotenoid
Lutein
carotenoids
zeaxanthin
lutein
Immune system
immune system
Pigments
cell-mediated immunity
pigment
Immune System
Animals
pigments
Beak
Xanthophylls
xanthophylls

Keywords

  • Carotenoid pigments
  • Cell-mediated immunity
  • Lutein
  • Phytohaemagglutinin
  • Taeniopygia guttata
  • Zeaxanthin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Immunoregulatory activity of different dietary carotenoids in male zebra finches. / McGraw, Kevin; Ardia, Daniel R.

In: Chemoecology, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2004, p. 25-29.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{919b6c99bfd8468c80bf53d7c3dd898d,
title = "Immunoregulatory activity of different dietary carotenoids in male zebra finches",
abstract = "Many animals use carotenoid pigments to color their integument and become sexually attractive. These colorants can also serve physiological functions, protecting cells and tissues from oxidative damage as well as stimulating the immune system. Because animals often acquire several different carotenoid pigments from their diet, there is the potential for different carotenoids to exhibit different free-radical-scavenging or immunoenhancing activity. We experimentally tested how two common dietary xanthophylls - lutein and zeaxanthin - may differentially affect the immune system in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Male T. guttata derive their red sexual beak colorants from these two carotenoids, and prior studies with this species have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin together boost cell-mediated immunity. We experimentally elevated these two dietary carotenoids separately in two groups of non-breeding zebra finches, but found that lutein-supplemented and zeaxanthin-supplemented males mounted similar cell-mediated immune responses (to phytohaemagglutinin, or PHA). Although zeaxanthin is a more conjugated carotenoid than lutein and has the potential to be a more potent antioxidant, our study suggests that such a subtle structural difference between these two biochemicals does not differentially affect immune performance in this songbird.",
keywords = "Carotenoid pigments, Cell-mediated immunity, Lutein, Phytohaemagglutinin, Taeniopygia guttata, Zeaxanthin",
author = "Kevin McGraw and Ardia, {Daniel R.}",
year = "2004",
doi = "10.1007/s00049-003-0255-z",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "14",
pages = "25--29",
journal = "Chemoecology",
issn = "0937-7409",
publisher = "Birkhauser Verlag Basel",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Immunoregulatory activity of different dietary carotenoids in male zebra finches

AU - McGraw, Kevin

AU - Ardia, Daniel R.

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - Many animals use carotenoid pigments to color their integument and become sexually attractive. These colorants can also serve physiological functions, protecting cells and tissues from oxidative damage as well as stimulating the immune system. Because animals often acquire several different carotenoid pigments from their diet, there is the potential for different carotenoids to exhibit different free-radical-scavenging or immunoenhancing activity. We experimentally tested how two common dietary xanthophylls - lutein and zeaxanthin - may differentially affect the immune system in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Male T. guttata derive their red sexual beak colorants from these two carotenoids, and prior studies with this species have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin together boost cell-mediated immunity. We experimentally elevated these two dietary carotenoids separately in two groups of non-breeding zebra finches, but found that lutein-supplemented and zeaxanthin-supplemented males mounted similar cell-mediated immune responses (to phytohaemagglutinin, or PHA). Although zeaxanthin is a more conjugated carotenoid than lutein and has the potential to be a more potent antioxidant, our study suggests that such a subtle structural difference between these two biochemicals does not differentially affect immune performance in this songbird.

AB - Many animals use carotenoid pigments to color their integument and become sexually attractive. These colorants can also serve physiological functions, protecting cells and tissues from oxidative damage as well as stimulating the immune system. Because animals often acquire several different carotenoid pigments from their diet, there is the potential for different carotenoids to exhibit different free-radical-scavenging or immunoenhancing activity. We experimentally tested how two common dietary xanthophylls - lutein and zeaxanthin - may differentially affect the immune system in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Male T. guttata derive their red sexual beak colorants from these two carotenoids, and prior studies with this species have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin together boost cell-mediated immunity. We experimentally elevated these two dietary carotenoids separately in two groups of non-breeding zebra finches, but found that lutein-supplemented and zeaxanthin-supplemented males mounted similar cell-mediated immune responses (to phytohaemagglutinin, or PHA). Although zeaxanthin is a more conjugated carotenoid than lutein and has the potential to be a more potent antioxidant, our study suggests that such a subtle structural difference between these two biochemicals does not differentially affect immune performance in this songbird.

KW - Carotenoid pigments

KW - Cell-mediated immunity

KW - Lutein

KW - Phytohaemagglutinin

KW - Taeniopygia guttata

KW - Zeaxanthin

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0842330685&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0842330685&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00049-003-0255-z

DO - 10.1007/s00049-003-0255-z

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0842330685

VL - 14

SP - 25

EP - 29

JO - Chemoecology

JF - Chemoecology

SN - 0937-7409

IS - 1

ER -