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《Acta Zoologica Sinica》 2003-04
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Population density and immune function in Brandt’s voles (Microtus brandti)

LI Feng-Hua WANG De-Hua ZHONG Wen-Qin ** (State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Insect and Rodent Pests in Agriculture, Institute of Zoology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080,China)  
In order to determine the relationship between population density and immune function in Brand’s voles (Microtus brandti), we investigated the effects of low (1 animal/cage), moderate (4 animals/cage) and high (8 animals/cage) density on the growth and immune functions of male and female adult Brand’s voles from a long-term, stable same-sex groups. Body weight, spleen weight, testis weight, levels of serum antibodies and serum cortisol were measured. We found that: (1) final body weights and male reproductive organ weights decreased with increasing density; (2) female Brandt’s voles in the moderate and high density groups had better immune function than those at low density, but the immune functions of male individuals were not significantly affected by density; (3) density had no significant effect on the serum cortisol levels of both male and female voles. These results suggest that a long-term stable and harmonious social environment does not necessarily cause social stress in Brandt’s voles. Population density can affect the growth, reproduction and immunity of Brandt’s voles and these effects differ between the sexes.
【Key Words】: Brandt’s vole (Microtus brandti) Density Immune function Population regulation
【Fund】: 中国科学院知识创新工程重要方向项目资助 (KSCX2 - SW -10 3 KSCX2 - 1- 0 3 );; 领域前沿项目资助 (KSCX3-IOZ -0 6);; 中国科学院生物特别支持费资助 (STZ -0 1 -0 6)~~
【CateGory Index】: Q958
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