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Basal metabolic rate and the evolution of the adaptive immune system

Author:
  • Lars Råberg
  • Mikael Vestberg
  • Dennis Hasselquist
  • Rikard Holmdahl
  • Erik Svensson
  • Jan-Åke Nilsson
Publishing year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 817-821
Publication/Series: Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
Volume: 269
Issue: 1493
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Royal Society

Abstract english

Vertebrates have evolved an adaptive immune system in addition to the ancestral innate immune system. It is often assumed that a trade-off between costs and benefits of defence governs the evolution of immunological defence, but the costs and benefits specific to the adaptive immune system are poorly known. We used genetically engineered mice lacking lymphocytes (i.e. mice without adaptive, but with innate, immunity) as a model of the ancestral state in the evolution of the vertebrate immune system. To investigate if the magnitude of adaptive defence is constrained by the energetic costs of producing lymphocytes etc., we compared the basal metabolic rate of normal and lymphocyte-deficient mice. We found that lymphocyte-deficient mice had a higher basal metabolic rate than normal mice with both innate and adaptive immune defence. This suggests that the evolution of the adaptive immune system has not been constrained by energetic costs. Rather, it should have been favoured by the energy savings associated with a combination of innate and adaptive immune defence.

Keywords

  • Immunology in the medical area

Other

Published
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab
  • ISSN: 1471-2954
erik_svensson
E-mail: erik.svensson [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 38 19

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden