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The interplay between ambient temperature and salt intake affects oxidative status and immune responses in a ubiquitous Neotropical passerine, the rufous-collared sparrow

Sabat, Pablo, Bozinovic, Francisco, Contreras-Ramos, Carolina, Nespolo, Roberto F., Newsome, Seth D., Quirici, Veronica, Maldonado, Karin, Peña-Villalobos, Isaac, Ramirez-Otarola, Natalia, Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan Carlos
Comparative biochemistry and physiology 2019 v.234 pp. 50-59
Neotropics, Zonotrichia, adults, ambient temperature, antigens, antioxidants, birds, drinking water, energy, enzymes, erythrocytes, freshwater, immune response, inflammation, lipid peroxidation, metabolism, mitochondria, omnivores, physiological response, reproduction, sodium chloride, telomeres, water salinity, Chile
Physiological traits associated with maintenance, growth, and reproduction demand a large amount of energy and thus directly influence an animal's energy budget, which is also regulated by environmental conditions. In this study, we evaluated the interplay between ambient temperature and salinity of drinking water on energy budgets and physiological responses in adult Rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis), an omnivorous passerine that is ubiquitous in Chile and inhabits a wide range of environments. We acclimated birds to 30 days at two ambient temperatures (27 °C and 17 °C) and drinking water salinity (200 mM NaCl and fresh water) conditions. We evaluated: 1) the aerobic scope and the activities of mitochondrial metabolic enzymes, 2) osmoregulatory parameters, 3) the skin-swelling immune response to an antigen, 4) oxidative status, and 5) the length of telomeres of red blood cells. Our results confirm that Z. capensis tolerates the chronic consumption of moderate levels of salt, maintaining body mass but increasing their basal metabolic rates consistent with expected osmoregulatory costs. Additionally, the factorial aerobic scope was higher in birds acclimated to fresh (tap) water at both 17° and 27 °C. Drinking water salinity and low ambient temperatures negatively impacted inflammatory response, and we observed an increase in lipid peroxidation and high levels of circulating antioxidants at low temperatures. Finally, telomere length was not affected by osmo- and thermoregulatory stress. Our results did not support the existence of an interplay between environmental temperature and drinking water salinity on most physiological and biochemical traits in Z. capensis, but the negative effect of these two factors on the inflammatory immune response suggests the existence of an energetic trade-off between biological functions that act in parallel to control immune function.