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Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 12;9(1):16545. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-52713-5.

Effects of Eucalypt Plant Monoterpenes on Koala (Phascolarctos Cinereus) Cytokine Expression In Vitro.

Author information

1
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, 2006, NSW, Australia. cmar3346@uni.sydney.edu.au.
2
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, 2006, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

Protective immunity is crucial for survival of any species, though the koala as a specialist feeder adapted to an exclusive diet of eucalypts that contain plant secondary metabolites of varying toxicity and of immunomodulatory property. Being constantly exposed to such dietary chemicals it raises the question of their immune effects in a specialist eucalypt feeder. This study demonstrates that natural levels of circulating eucalypt plant secondary metabolites have dose dependent in vitro effects on cytokine expression of koala peripheral blood mononuclear cells, suggesting a potential trade-off of reduced function in multiple arms of the immune system associated with koala's use of its specialized dietary niche.

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