Article: article from journal or magazin.
Age-specific variation of resistance to oxidative stress in the greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus)
Journal of Ornithology
Birds exhibit exceptional longevity and are thus regarded as a convenient model to study the intrinsic mechanisms of aging. The oxidative stress theory of aging suggests that individuals age because molecules, cells, tissues, organs, and, ultimately, animals accumulate oxidative damage over time. Accumulation of damage progressively reduces the level of antioxidant defences that are expected to decline with age. To test this theory, we measured the resistance of red blood cells to free radical attack in a captive population of greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) of known age ranging from 0.3 to 45 years. We observed a convex relationship with young adults (12-20 years old) having greater resistance to oxidative stress than immature flamingos (5 months old) and old flamingos (30-45 years old). Our results suggest that the antioxidant detoxifying system must go through a maturation process before being completely functional. It then declines in older adults, supporting the oxidative theory of aging. Oxidative stress could hence play a significant role in shaping the pattern of senescence in a very long-lived bird species.
Antioxidant defences , Oxidative stress , Phoenicopterus ruber roseus , Senescence
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