Navigation Links
Nursing gerbils unravel benefit of multiple mothers in collective mammals
Date:1/9/2013

In mammals such as rodents that raise their young as a group, infants will nurse from their mother as well as other females, a dynamic known as allosuckling. Ecologists have long hypothesized that allosuckling lets newborns stockpile antibodies to various diseases, but the experimental proof has been lacking until now.

An in-press report in the journal Mammalian Biology found that infant Mongolian gerbils that suckled from females given separate vaccines for two different diseases wound up with antibodies for both illnesses.

The findings not only demonstrate the potential purpose of allosuckling, but also provide the first framework for further studying it in the wild by using traceable antibodies, said first author Romain Garnier, a postdoctoral researcher in Princeton University's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Garnier conducted the research with Sylvain Gandon and Thierry Boulinier of the Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology in France, and with Yannick Chaval and Nathalie Charbonnel at the Center for Biology and Management of Populations in France.

Garnier and his coauthors administered an influenza vaccine to one group of female gerbils, and a vaccine for Borrelia burgdorferi the bacterial agent of Lyme disease to another group. Once impregnated, female gerbils from each vaccine group were paired and, as the gerbils do in nature, kept separate from the male gerbils to birth and rear their young. In the wild, females can choose which young to nurse and infant gerbils can likewise choose which female to suckle. In the typical lab, however, one male, one female and their young are housed together, the researchers wrote.

When screened upon birth, all the infant gerbils had no detectable antibodies against influenza while one had antibodies against B. burgdorferi, according to the paper. But after eight days of nursing, all the infants contained high levels of antibodies for both influenza and B. burgdorferi, suggesting that the females nursed the young their own and those of the other female evenly. These results suggest that allosuckling is indeed intended to expose newborn animals to a host of antibodies.

This benefit sheds light on a peculiar arrangement in cooperative mammals that ecologists have puzzled over, the authors wrote. In social species, females usually fall into dominant or subordinate groups with the subordinate females typically involved in tending to the young produced by dominant females. Yet, in many cases, subordinate females are "allowed" to breed. Garnier and his colleagues suggest that the potentially larger antibody pool available through nursing might be one of the reasons why.


'/>"/>

Contact: Morgan Kelly
mgnkelly@princeton.edu
609-258-5729
Princeton University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NYU College of Nursings Dr. Anastasi awarded $2.5 million from NIH to study IBS symptom management
2. Unraveling the threads: Simplest cotton genome offers clues for fiber improvements
3. It takes two to tangle: Wistar scientists further unravel telomere biology
4. Scientists unravel the mystery of marine methane oxidation
5. Scientists unravel resistance to breast cancer treatment
6. Information theory helps unravel DNAs genetic code
7. Biophysicists unravel secrets of genetic switch
8. How bacteria change movement direction in response to oxygen: Molecular interactions unravelled
9. Lets get moving: Unraveling how locomotion starts
10. Virginia Tech and University of Tuscia lead team to unravel origin of devastating kiwifruit bacterium
11. Stomata development in plants unraveled -- a valuable discovery for environmental research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017 Report Highlights The global ... $8.3 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth ... Report Includes - An overview of the global market ... data from 2015 and 2016, and projections of compound ... the market on the basis of product type, source, ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... BEACH, New York , February 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... known as ID Global Solutions Corporation [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" ... identity management and electronic transaction processing services, is pleased ... reorganization of the Company. Effective January 31, ... of the Board of Directors, CEO and President.  An ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... A new independent identity strategy consultancy firm ... . Designed to fill a critical niche in technical ... partners Mark Crego and Janice Kephart ... identity expertise that span federal governments, the 9/11 Commission, ... combined expertise has a common theme born from a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - The Fight Against Cancer Innovation ... (OICR) are pleased to report that Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) as ... HealthCap, TPG Biotechnology Partners, and Genesys Capital, as well ... ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  Imanis Life ... product line of oncolytic vaccinia viruses for virotherapy ... as part of Genelux,s proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology ... excited to enter into a partnership with Genelux ... oncolytic vaccinia viruses for use in research," said ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... , ... Today, researchers can fast-track sample collection and analysis ... biomarkers or SNPs of interest) using one, easy-to-collect saliva sample. With the addition ... insulin and other relevant biomarkers can be extensively studied through a non-invasive sample ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... and Beyond Type 1, a not-for-profit advocacy and education ... announced a grant from Beyond Type 1 to support ... 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.  For ... stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies with a focus on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: