Ambient temperature modulates the magnitude of LPS-induced fevers in Pekin ducks

M. Marais, Shane Maloney, D.A. Gray

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    11 Citations (Web of Science)


    The consequences of variations in environmental temperature on innate immune responses in birds are by and large not known. We investigated the influence of ambient temperature on the febrile response in female Pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos). Ducks, implanted with temperature data loggers to measure body temperature, were injected with lipopolysaccharide (100 mu g kg(-1)) to evoke febrile responses and kept at ambient temperatures higher, within, and lower than their thermoneutral zone (n=10), and in conditions that simulated one day of a heat wave (n=6). Compared to the febrile response at thermoneutrality, at low temperatures, febrile responses were significantly attenuated; fevers reached lower magnitudes (from basal body temperature of 41.2 +/- 0.3 degrees C to a peak of 42.0 +/- 0.3 degrees C). In contrast, at high ambient temperatures, ducks rapidly developed significantly enhanced fevers, which reached markedly higher febrile peaks (from basal body temperature of 41.6 degrees C to a peak of 44.0 degrees C in a simulated heat wave when ambient temperature reached 40 degrees C). These results indicate that ambient temperature affects the febrile response in female Pekin ducks. Our findings reveal a key difference in febrile mediation between ducks and mammals, and have implications for avian survival because high environmental temperatures during febrile mediation could lead to febrile responses becoming physiologically deleterious. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-127
    JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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