Effect of Duration of Cold Stress on Plasma Adrenal and Thyroid Hormone Levels and Immune Responses in Chicken Lines Divergently Selected for Antibody Responses

B.N. Hangalapura, M.G.B. Nieuwland, J. Buyse, B. Kemp, H.K. Parmentier

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59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that stress affects various immune processes. Some of these changes are due to hormonal changes involving corticosterone (CORT), triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4). Effects of stress depend on the nature of specific stressors (e.g., thermal extremes, diet, pollutants), and stress-modifiers (e.g., genetic make-up, duration and severity of the stressors). We studied the effects of a specific stress (cold stress) with stress-modifiers (duration of stress and genotype of the bird) on immune responses and plasma adrenal and thyroid hormone levels in 3 layer-type chicken lines. Two lines were divergently selected for high (H line) or low (L line) antibody responses to SRBC, and the third line was a randombred control (C) line. Growing chicks (3- to 4-wk-old) of the 3 lines were feed-restricted at 80% of ad libitum consumption, and subjected to cold stress (CS) at 10°C continuously for 7, 5, 3, 1, or 0 d before immunization with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). Specific antibody titers to KLH, and in vitro lymphocyte proliferation (LP) upon mitogen stimulation were measured. In addition, adrenal and thyroid hormone levels were measured in the plasma samples collected at the end of CS. No significant effect of duration of CS on specific antibody titers was found in the 3 lines. A significant enhancing effect of CS was found on LP. A significant dose-dependent suppressive effect of CS was found on plasma CORT levels. One day of CS had a significant enhancing effect on T3 levels. There was no significant effect of duration of CS on T4 levels. We conclude that CS does not affect specific antibody responses, but may have a modulating effect on cellular immunity and plasma CORT levels, depending on the duration of the stress. The present study suggests an inverse relationship between LP and CORT. This is the first study that reveals an absence of significant differences in adrenal and thyroid hormone levels in the described selection lines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1644-1649
JournalPoultry Science
Volume83
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • chronic mild stress
  • red-blood-cells
  • proliferative response
  • body-weight
  • corticosterone
  • lymphocyte
  • rats
  • axis
  • immunosuppression
  • triiodothyronine

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