Article

Early-life adversity accelerates cellular ageing and affects adult inflammation: Experimental evidence from the European starling

Citation

Nettle D, Andrews C, Reichert S, Bedford T, Kolenda C, Parker C, Martin-Ruiz C, Monaghan P & Bateson M (2017) Early-life adversity accelerates cellular ageing and affects adult inflammation: Experimental evidence from the European starling. Scientific Reports, 7 (1), Art. No.: 40794. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep40794

Abstract
Early-life adversity is associated with accelerated cellular ageing during development and increased inflammation during adulthood. However, human studies can only establish correlation, not causation, and existing experimental animal approaches alter multiple components of early-life adversity simultaneously. We developed a novel hand-rearing paradigm in European starling nestlings (Sturnus vulgaris), in which we separately manipulated nutritional shortfall and begging effort for a period of 10 days. The experimental treatments accelerated erythrocyte telomere attrition and increased DNA damage measured in the juvenile period. For telomere attrition, amount of food and begging effort exerted additive effects. Only the combination of low food amount and high begging effort increased DNA damage. We then measured two markers of inflammation, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, when the birds were adults. The experimental treatments affected both inflammatory markers, though the patterns were complex and different for each marker. The effect of the experimental treatments on adult interleukin-6 was partially mediated by increased juvenile DNA damage. Our results show that both nutritional input and begging effort in the nestling period affect cellular ageing and adult inflammation in the starling. However, the pattern of effects is different for different biomarkers measured at different time points.

Keywords
Ageing; Behavioural ecology; Biomarkers

Journal
Scientific Reports: Volume 7, Issue 1

StatusPublished
FundersBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publication date28/02/2017
Publication date online17/01/2017
Date accepted by journal09/12/2016
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31801
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
eISSN2045-2322