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Increased biodiversity in the environment improves the humoral response of rats

Pi, Cinthia, Allott, Emma H., Ren, Daniel, Poulton, Susan, Lee, S. Y. Ryan, Perkins, Sarah E., Everett, Mary Lou, Holzknecht, Zoie E., Lin, Shu S. and Parker, William 2015. Increased biodiversity in the environment improves the humoral response of rats. PLoS ONE 10 (4) , e0120255. 10.1371/journal.pone.0120255

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Abstract

Previous studies have compared the immune systems of wild and of laboratory rodents in an effort to determine how laboratory rodents differ from their naturally occurring relatives. This comparison serves as an indicator of what sorts of changes might exist between modern humans living in Western culture compared to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. However, immunological experiments on wild-caught animals are difficult and potentially confounded by increased levels of stress in the captive animals. In this study, the humoral immune responses of laboratory rats in a traditional laboratory environment and in an environment with enriched biodiversity were examined following immunization with a panel of antigens. Biodiversity enrichment included colonization of the laboratory animals with helminths and co-housing the laboratory animals with wild-caught rats. Increased biodiversity did not apparently affect the IgE response to peanut antigens following immunization with those antigens. However, animals housed in the enriched biodiversity setting demonstrated an increased mean humoral response to T-independent and T-dependent antigens and increased levels of “natural” antibodies directed at a xenogeneic protein and at an autologous tissue extract that were not used as immunogens.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 29 January 2015
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:06
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/72846

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