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Phytohemagglutinin‐induced skin swelling in birds : histological support for a classic immunoecological technique

Phytohemagglutinin‐induced skin swelling in birds : histological support for a classic immunoecological technique

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MARTIN, Lynn B., Peggy HAN, Jason LEWITTES, Joshua R. KUHLMAN, Kirk C. KLASING, Martin WIKELSKI, 2006. Phytohemagglutinin‐induced skin swelling in birds : histological support for a classic immunoecological technique. In: Functional Ecology. 20(2), pp. 290-299. ISSN 0269-8463. eISSN 1365-2435. Available under: doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2006.01094.x

@article{Martin2006-04Phyto-42440, title={Phytohemagglutinin‐induced skin swelling in birds : histological support for a classic immunoecological technique}, year={2006}, doi={10.1111/j.1365-2435.2006.01094.x}, number={2}, volume={20}, issn={0269-8463}, journal={Functional Ecology}, pages={290--299}, author={Martin, Lynn B. and Han, Peggy and Lewittes, Jason and Kuhlman, Joshua R. and Klasing, Kirk C. and Wikelski, Martin} }

Kuhlman, Joshua R. Martin, Lynn B. Han, Peggy Lewittes, Jason Kuhlman, Joshua R. Klasing, Kirk C. Han, Peggy 2006-04 2018-05-29T07:19:02Z terms-of-use Phytohemagglutinin‐induced skin swelling in birds : histological support for a classic immunoecological technique eng Klasing, Kirk C. Wikelski, Martin 2018-05-29T07:19:02Z Wikelski, Martin 1<br />Measurements of phytohemagglutinin (PHA)‐induced tissue swelling are arguably the most popular surrogates for immunocompetence in wild birds. It is largely unresolved, however, whether the basic assumption underlying these measures is valid, particularly whether more swelling represents a ‘better’ or ‘stronger’ cell‐mediated immune response.<br /><br />2<br />In this study we took a first step towards such validation by characterizing immune cell infiltration over time into the wing‐webs (patagia) of PHA‐challenged House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). Relative to saline‐injected wing‐webs, PHA‐injected wing‐webs displayed intensive infiltration of many immune cell types, including basophils, eosinophils, heterophils, lymphocytes, macrophages and thrombocytes. The abundance of most of these cell types changed over the course of the swelling response (6–48 h post‐injection). Peak infiltration time varied depending on cell type. At several time points, significant correlations between the numbers of some cell types (particularly heterophils) and the degree of swelling were detected.<br /><br />3<br />Together, these data indicate that PHA‐induced swelling is related to heightened immune cell activity in House Sparrows, but also that the PHA swelling response in this species is dynamic and involves both innate and adaptive components of the immune system. We thus caution against interpreting larger swellings as ‘greater cell‐mediated immunocompetence’, given the complex nature of this immune response. Lewittes, Jason Martin, Lynn B.

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