Growth trajectories of young animals are intimately connected to their fitness prospects, but we have little knowledge of growth regulation mechanisms, particularly in the wild. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a central hormone in regulating resource allocation, with higher IGF-1 levels resulting in more growth. IGF-1 levels generally increase in conjunction with nutritional state, but whether IGF-1 levels are adjusted in response to current nutrient availability or to the nutrient availability integrated over a longer term is not well known. We tested for such effects by supplementary feeding the jackdaw (Corvus monedula) nestlings in experimentally reduced or enlarged broods with either water (control) or a food solution; these manipulations have long- and short-term effects on the nutritional state, respectively. Baseline plasma IGF-1 levels were higher in reduced broods. Food supplementation induced an increase in plasma IGF-1 levels measured one hour later, and this effect was significantly more substantial in nestlings in reduced broods. Changes in plasma IGF-1 levels increased with increased retention of the supplementary food, which was higher in reduced broods, explaining the stronger IGF-1 response. Thus, IGF-1 levels respond to short-term variations in the nutritional state, but this effect is amplified by longer-term variations in the nutritional state. We discuss our findings using a graphical model that integrates the results of the two treatments.

Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call