Habitat-specific adaptation of immune responses of stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) lake and river ecotypes

Chris Harrod, J.P. Scharsack, M. Kalbe, G. Rauch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Freshwater populations of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in northern Germany are found as distinct lake and river ecotypes. Adaptation to habitat-specific parasites might influence immune capabilities of stickleback ecotypes. Here, naive laboratory-bred sticklebacks from lake and river populations were exposed reciprocally to parasite environments in a lake and a river habitat. Sticklebacks exposed to lake conditions were infected with higher numbers of parasite species when compared with the river. River sticklebacks in the lake had higher parasite loads than lake sticklebacks in the same habitat. Respiratory burst, granulocyte counts and lymphocyte proliferation of head kidney leucocytes were increased in river sticklebacks exposed to lake when compared with river conditions. Although river sticklebacks exposed to lake conditions showed elevated activation of their immune system, parasites could not be diminished as effectively as by lake sticklebacks in their native habitat. River sticklebacks seem to have reduced their immune-competence potential due to lower parasite diversity in rivers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523-1532
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Volume274
Issue number1617
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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