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Transfer of humoural immunity over two generations in urban pigeons

Abstract : Maternal antibodies (MatAb) are known to provide passive protection early in life for young vertebrates but their effects on the development of offspring immune response across generations are still unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of antigen exposure (keyhole limpet haemocyanin, KLH) experienced by urban pigeon (Columba livia) females on the amount of antigen-specific antibodies (Abs) transferred into the egg yolk of their daughters and on the humoural immune response towards this same antigen in their grandchildren. We found that chicks from KLH-injected maternal grandmothers had a higher humoural response than chicks from sham-injected grandmothers. However, we did not detect a significant effect of female KLH exposure on the ability of their daughters to transmit anti-KLH Abs into their eggs. These results suggest that antigen exposure at one generation may shape the immune profile of offspring over two next generations, although the underlying mechanisms remain to be investigated.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 9:16:11 PM
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Ahmad Ismail, Lisa Jacquin, Claudy Haussy, S. Perret, Julien Gasparini. Transfer of humoural immunity over two generations in urban pigeons. Biology Letters, Royal Society, The, 2015, 11 (11), ⟨10.1098/rsbl.2015.0780⟩. ⟨hal-02636737⟩



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