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Poult Sci. 2008 Nov;87(11):2225-30. doi: 10.3382/ps.2008-00199.

Circulating corticosterone reaction to restraint and adrenocorticotropin hormone administration in white leghorns selected for immune response traits.

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Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique/AgroParisTech, UMR1236 Génétique et Diversité Animales, F-78352 Jouy en Josas, France.


Corticosterone plasma concentration was measured in a random-bred control line and in 3 White Leghorn chicken lines previously selected over 9 generations for 3 different in vivo immune responses: high antibody response to Newcastle disease virus vaccine 3 wk after vaccination (ND3), high cell-mediated immune response (response to phytohemagglutinin, PHA), and high phagocytic activity measured as carbon clearance (CC). The objective of the study was to estimate if selection on immune response had an effect on the response to stress assessed by measures of corticosterone concentration before and after physical stress or adrenocorticotropin hormone injection and if the effect was dependent on the immune response trait that had been selected for, by joint analyses of immune responses and concentrations. The mean values of plasma corticosterone measures did not differ between lines, indicating that selection for different high immune responses had little effect on response to stress. Within line, however, significant negative correlations (-0.46 <or= r <or= -0.39) were found between cell-mediated immunity and corticosterone plasma concentrations in 3 of the 4 lines. Moreover, in the line selected for high antibody titers (ND3-L), corticosterone levels were positively correlated to ND3 (r = 0.41 and 0.47) and negatively correlated to CC (r = -0.48).

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