Recovery of constitutive immune function after migratory endurance flight in free-living birds

Authors: Cas Eikenaar, Alessia Ostolani, Sven Hessler, Ellen Y. Ye, and Arne Hegemann

Year: 2023

Publication: Biology Letters

Publication Link:

Abstract: Strenuous physical activity can negatively affect constitutive innate immune
function (CIF), the always present first line of defence against pathogens. CIF
is non-specific, and thus vital when encountering novel pathogens. A lowered
CIF likely increases the risk of infection and disease.Migratory birds engage in
truly extreme physical activity during their endurance flights, however, little is
known about howthey dealwith the negative impact this has on their immune
function. By collecting both between- and within-individual datawe show, for
the first time, that free-flying migratory birds can recover several parameters of
CIF during stopovers, which are stationary periods in between migratory
flights. With this, we provide an important piece of the puzzle on how
migrating birds copewith the physiological challenges they face on their biannual
journeys. Furthermore, our study stresses the importance of migratory
stopovers beyond fuel accumulation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *