Title

Effects of heat wave on thermal performance of immune function

Poster Number

4

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences and Pre-Pharmacy

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Zachary Stahlschmidt

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of heat waves on a global scale. Such environmental change can negatively affect animal physiology. Animals, however, may respond by exhibiting adaptive plasticity, such as altering their thermal performance or sensitivity (e.g., the temperature at which performance peaks may shift upward in response to a heat wave). Thus, to investigate the impact of a heat wave on animal physiology, we measured the thermal sensitivity of immune function in corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus). Specifically, we assayed the performance of two metrics of innate immunity (hemoagglutination and hemolysis of foreign blood cells) at five different temperatures (5, 15, 25, 35, and 45°C) after snakes experienced either control or heat-wave temperature treatments. Agglutination and lysis performance were positively correlated, and immune performance tended to be higher at lower assay temperatures. Peak (maximal) performance and temperature breadth were negatively correlated for agglutination, meaning P. guttatus exhibits a temperature generalistspecialist tradeoff. However, metrics of thermal performance of hemoagglutination and hemolysis were not influenced by heat-wave treatment. Elevated temperatures associated with climate change may reduce the effectiveness of innate immune function because heat waves appear to have little effect on the thermal plasticity of immune function and immune function tends to perform better at lower temperatures. In the future, we will investigate the effects of heat wave on thermal performance of other metrics of immune function (bacteriakilling capacity), as well as on antioxidant capacity and oxidative damage.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

30-4-2016 1:30 AM

End Date

30-4-2016 3:30 PM

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Apr 30th, 1:30 AM Apr 30th, 3:30 PM

Effects of heat wave on thermal performance of immune function

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of heat waves on a global scale. Such environmental change can negatively affect animal physiology. Animals, however, may respond by exhibiting adaptive plasticity, such as altering their thermal performance or sensitivity (e.g., the temperature at which performance peaks may shift upward in response to a heat wave). Thus, to investigate the impact of a heat wave on animal physiology, we measured the thermal sensitivity of immune function in corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus). Specifically, we assayed the performance of two metrics of innate immunity (hemoagglutination and hemolysis of foreign blood cells) at five different temperatures (5, 15, 25, 35, and 45°C) after snakes experienced either control or heat-wave temperature treatments. Agglutination and lysis performance were positively correlated, and immune performance tended to be higher at lower assay temperatures. Peak (maximal) performance and temperature breadth were negatively correlated for agglutination, meaning P. guttatus exhibits a temperature generalistspecialist tradeoff. However, metrics of thermal performance of hemoagglutination and hemolysis were not influenced by heat-wave treatment. Elevated temperatures associated with climate change may reduce the effectiveness of innate immune function because heat waves appear to have little effect on the thermal plasticity of immune function and immune function tends to perform better at lower temperatures. In the future, we will investigate the effects of heat wave on thermal performance of other metrics of immune function (bacteriakilling capacity), as well as on antioxidant capacity and oxidative damage.