Functional similarities between pigeon 'milk' and mammalian milk : induction of immune gene expression and modification of the microbiota

Gillespie, Meagan J., Stanley, Dragana, Chen, Honglei, Donald, John A., Nicholas, Kevin R., Moore, Robert J. and Crowley, Tamsyn M. 2012, Functional similarities between pigeon 'milk' and mammalian milk : induction of immune gene expression and modification of the microbiota, PLoS one, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. 1-10.

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Title Functional similarities between pigeon 'milk' and mammalian milk : induction of immune gene expression and modification of the microbiota
Author(s) Gillespie, Meagan J.
Stanley, Dragana
Chen, Honglei
Donald, John A.
Nicholas, Kevin R.
Moore, Robert J.
Crowley, Tamsyn M.
Journal name PLoS one
Volume number 7
Issue number 10
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary Pigeon ‘milk’ and mammalian milk have functional similarities in terms of nutritional benefit and delivery of immunoglobulins to the young. Mammalian milk has been clearly shown to aid in the development of the immune system and microbiota of the young, but similar effects have not yet been attributed to pigeon ‘milk’. Therefore, using a chicken model, we investigated the effect of pigeon ‘milk’ on immune gene expression in the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT) and on the composition of the caecal microbiota. Chickens fed pigeon ‘milk’ had a faster rate of growth and a better feed conversion ratio than control chickens. There was significantly enhanced expression of immune-related gene pathways and interferon-stimulated genes in the GALT of pigeon ‘milk’-fed chickens. These pathways include the innate immune response, regulation of cytokine production and regulation of B cell activation and proliferation. The caecal microbiota of pigeon ‘milk’-fed chickens was significantly more diverse than control chickens, and appears to be affected by prebiotics in pigeon ‘milk’, as well as being directly seeded by bacteria present in pigeon ‘milk’. Our results demonstrate that pigeon ‘milk’ has further modes of action which make it functionally similar to mammalian milk. We hypothesise that pigeon ‘lactation’ and mammalian lactation evolved independently but resulted in similarly functional products.
Language eng
Field of Research 060114 Systems Biology
060405 Gene Expression (incl Microarray and other genome-wide approaches)
060802 Animal Cell and Molecular Biology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30051818

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