Interactive effects of early and later nutritional conditions on the adult antioxidant defence system in zebra finches

Noguera, J.C., Monaghan, P. and Metcalfe, N.B. (2015) Interactive effects of early and later nutritional conditions on the adult antioxidant defence system in zebra finches. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(14), pp. 2211-2217. (doi: 10.1242/jeb.120956) (PMID:25987737)

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In vertebrates, antioxidant defences comprise a mixture of endogenously produced components and exogenously obtained antioxidants that are derived mostly from the diet. It has been suggested that early-life micronutritional conditions might influence the way in which the antioxidant defence system operates, which could enable individuals to adjust the activity of the endogenous and exogenous components in line with their expected intake of dietary antioxidants if the future environment resembles the past. We investigated this possibility by experimentally manipulating the micronutrient content of the diet during different periods of postnatal development in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds that had a low micronutrient diet during the growth phase initially had a lower total antioxidant capacity (TAC) than those reared under a high micronutrient diet, but then showed a compensatory response, so that by the end of the growth phase, the TAC of the two groups was the same. Interestingly, we found an interactive effect of micronutrient intake early and late in development: only those birds that continued with the same dietary treatment (low or high) throughout development showed a significant increase in their TAC during the period of sexual maturation. A similar effect was also found in the level of enzymatic antioxidant defences (glutathione peroxidase; GPx). No significant effects were found in the level of oxidative damage in lipids [malondialdehyde (MDA) levels]. These findings demonstrate the importance of early and late developmental conditions in shaping multiple aspects of the antioxidant system. Furthermore, they suggest that young birds may adjust their antioxidant defences to enable them to ‘thrive’ on diets rich or poor in micronutrients later in life.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Noguera, Dr Jose Carlos and Monaghan, Professor Pat and Metcalfe, Professor Neil
Authors: Noguera, J.C., Monaghan, P., and Metcalfe, N.B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Experimental Biology
Publisher:The Company of Biologists Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1477-9145

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