Early-life adversity accelerates cellular ageing and affects adult inflammation: experimental evidence from the European starling

Nettle, D., Andrews, C., Reichert, S., Bedford, T., Kolenda, C., Parker, C., Martin-Ruiz, C., Monaghan, P. and Bateson, M. (2017) Early-life adversity accelerates cellular ageing and affects adult inflammation: experimental evidence from the European starling. Scientific Reports, 7, 40974. (doi: 10.1038/srep40794) (PMID:28094324) (PMCID:PMC5240102)

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Abstract

Early-life adversity is associated with accelerated cellular ageing during development and increased inflammation during adulthood. However, human studies can only establish correlation, not causation, and existing experimental animal approaches alter multiple components of early-life adversity simultaneously. We developed a novel hand-rearing paradigm in European starling nestlings (Sturnus vulgaris), in which we separately manipulated nutritional shortfall and begging effort for a period of 10 days. The experimental treatments accelerated erythrocyte telomere attrition and increased DNA damage measured in the juvenile period. For telomere attrition, amount of food and begging effort exerted additive effects. Only the combination of low food amount and high begging effort increased DNA damage. We then measured two markers of inflammation, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, when the birds were adults. The experimental treatments affected both inflammatory markers, though the patterns were complex and different for each marker. The effect of the experimental treatments on adult interleukin-6 was partially mediated by increased juvenile DNA damage. Our results show that both nutritional input and begging effort in the nestling period affect cellular ageing and adult inflammation in the starling. However, the pattern of effects is different for different biomarkers measured at different time points.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Monaghan, Professor Pat and Reichert, Dr Sophie
Authors: Nettle, D., Andrews, C., Reichert, S., Bedford, T., Kolenda, C., Parker, C., Martin-Ruiz, C., Monaghan, P., and Bateson, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Published Online:17 January 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 7: 40794
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
590411Early life adversity, telomere length and adult cognition: the starling as an experimental modelPatricia MonaghanBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J015091/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
545091ECOTELO - The ecological significance of telomere dynamics:environments, individuals and inheritancePatricia MonaghanEuropean Research Council (ERC)20100317/FP7-268926RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED