Par1100079 1077.108Keeping the clock set under the midnight sun: diurnalperiodicity and synchrony of avian Isospora parasites cyclein the High Arctic OLGA V. DOLNIK1*, BENJAMIN J. METZGER2 and MAARTEN J. J. E. LOONEN3 1 Institute for Polar Ecology, Wischhofstrasse, 1-3 Geb. 12, D-24148 Kiel, Germany2 Institute of Avian Research ‘Vogelwarte Helgoland', An der Vogelwarte 21, 26386 Wilhelmshaven, Germany 3 Arctic Centre University of Groningen, Aweg 30, 9718 CW Groningen, The Netherlands (Received 15 February 2011; revised 22 March 2011; accepted 17 April 2011; first published online 15 July 2011) For Isospora (Protozoa: Eimeriidae) parasites of passerine birds, diurnal periodicity of oocyst output is a well-describedphenomenon. From the temporal zone to the tropics, oocyst production is correlated with the light-dark cycle, peaking inthe afternoon hours. However, nothing is known about the existence of diurnal periodicity of these parasites in the birds ofHigh Arctic environments, under permanent light during summer. We sampled free-ranging Snow Bunting (Aves:Passeriformes), on Svalbard in summer and tested oocysts output of Isospora plectrophenaxia. Here we show that under thepermanent light conditions of Arctic summer in the wild, Isospora plectrophenaxia, a parasite of the Snow Bunting, stillkeeps the 24-h rhythm of oocyst output with the peak in the post-meridiem hours, despite the absence of diurnal periodicityin host's activity. Our ﬁndings prove the ability of avian Isospora to invoke alternative cues for synchronizing the circadianrhythms. Possible cues and adaptive signiﬁcance of diurnal periodicity of parasite output in High Arctic are discussed. Themaintenance of synchronization and timing of the parasite life-cycle stages is under positive selection pressure even inpermanent daylight in the Arctic.
Key words: circadian rhythms, Coccidia, Snow Bunting, Svalbard, host-parasite interactions.
endoparasites with a direct life cycle, such as avianIsospora (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) species are still Circadian rhythms are endogenous physiological unclear (Dolnik, Martinaud et al. These oscillations with a period of approximately 24 h protozoan intracellular intestinal parasites are wide- (Calisi and Bentley, These rhythms are widely spread among passerine birds (Svobodová, found in free-living organisms from prokaryotic with prevalence of infection reaching 100% in some cyanobacteria to essentially all eukaryotes (Bünning, populations (Schwalbach, Representing the In free-living animals, daylight changes were parasites with direct life cycle, avian Isospora species proven to be a cue for setting the activity rhythms require no vector for the spread of infection, and (Kumar et al. The adaptive value of such transmission occurs, if an appropriate host ingests rhythms lies in the advantages for the organism sporulated oocysts (Long, To become infec- in synchronizing its behavioural and physiological tive, freshly excreted unsporulated oocysts need time processes to periodically oscillating environmental to complete their development (sporulation), which factors (Sharma, ). Moreover, diurnal period- takes, depending on the species and surrounding icity was even demonstrated for some of the endo- temperature, from 3 to 4 days to 18 h, and for some parasites, experiencing the environmental changes individual oocysts even less (Schwalbach, mediated via their host. For instance, in various Martinaud et al. ).
species of ﬁlariae, transmitted by diﬀerent arthro- Transmission is a key event during the parasite life pode vectors, the concentration of microﬁlariae in cycle, and from an evolutionary perspective, it is the peripherial blood of their vertebrate hosts is generally assumed that any trait increasing the reaching its maximum at diﬀerent times of the day, transmission success of the parasite would be selected according to the time the arthropod vectors are likely for (e.g. Bush et al. Combes, Martinaud to bite (Asio et al. However, the adaptive et al. ). The success of avian Isospora trans- reasons for synchronization of circadian rhythms in mission depends on a combination of 2 factors: on thesuccessful sporulation and survival of the oocysts on * Corresponding author: Institute for Polar Ecology, the one hand, and on the probability of being ingested Wischhofstrasse, 1-3 Geb. 12, D-24148 Kiel, Germany.
by an appropriate host, on the other (Dolnik et al.
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E-mail: email@example.com Parasitology (2011), 138, 1077–1081. Cambridge University Press 2011doi:10.1017/S0031182011000795 Olga V. Dolnik, Benjamin J. Metzger and Maarten J. J. E. Loonen From the temperate zone to the tropics, in diﬀerent winter. The lack of light-dark alternation poses Isospora spp. from various families of passerine unique challenges to the circadian systems of both birds, oocyst output does not occur continually or the hosts and their parasites.
stochastically during the day, but emergence of The aim of this study was to investigate how the individual oocysts is highly synchronized, peaking polar day aﬀects the diurnal periodicity of isosporan in the afternoon (Boughton, Schwalbach, ; parasites from natural polar inhabitants. By sug- Grulet et al. ; Dolnik, Lindström et al.
gesting that in the wild, synchronization of oocyst output is under positive selection throughout the This periodicity was hypothesized to be an latitudes, we hypothesized that in arctic inhabitants adaptation of the parasite to increase both (1) the under natural conditions, the synchronized rhythm success of the sporulation and survival of the oocysts of oocyst output is kept under continuous light of the (Dolnik, Martinaud et al. ), and (2) the polar day in summer.
probability of being swallowed by a new host (Dolniket al. The ﬁrst is possible because afternoon output enables the parasite to avoid lethal solarradiation and desiccation of its exogenous stages during the critical time of sporulation (Boughton, (Plectrophenax nivalis nivalis), is the northernmost ; Schwalbach, ; Dolnik, Vulner- breeding passerine bird in the world (Cramp and ability of unsporulated oocysts to desiccation and Perrins, and the only passerine breeding destruction via UV radiation has been experimentally annually and in large numbers in the High Arctic demonstrated recently (e.g. Martinaud et al. conditions of Svalbard. This small bird typically although there are exceptions (Barré and Troncy, arrives at the breeding grounds on Svalbard in ). After completing their development, the now the end of March–April, and leaves in August– sporulated oocysts are resistant to sunlight and September, to spend the winter in temperate areas desiccation (Long, Belli et al. ) and at (Cramp and Perrins, By this pattern, the Snow this stage they serve the purpose of preservation and Bunting spends over half of the year in a temperate dispersion. The latter advantage for the transmission zone with a light-dark rhythm, but during the is possible due to the coincidence of oocyst output reproductive season, this bird experiences continu- peak with the evening peak of bird feeding activity ous daylight.
(Dolnik, which allows the oocysts to be shed at Isospora plectrophenaxia Dolnik and Loonen the foraging grounds.
was chosen as the model parasite species. This Experimental work on temperate zone passerines intracellular intestinal parasite has been described has shown that the peak of Isospora oocyst production from Snow Buntings and is known to have successful depends on daylight periodicity and occurs during transmission on Svalbard (Dolnik and Loonen, the second half of the day (Boughton, Dolnik, thus allowing investigation of its circadian ; Wild, Furthermore, experiments on rhythm at the breeding site of its host.
House Sparrows showed that when the light regime The samples were collected in Ny-Ålesund, was reversed (by swapping the dark and light Svalbard (78°55′N; 11°55′E) in July 2006, 2007 and periods), not only host activity rhythms changed 2009. Due to the location of the study site north of the but also the peak of Isospora oocyst output, being polar circle, there is continuous sunlight during the adjusted to the altered light conditions (Boughton, period from 19 April until 23 August. In total, ). Also, experiments involving food provision of 250 fresh faecal samples, homogenously distributed sparrows during either the ﬁrst or the second part through diﬀerent times of the day (0–24 h), were of the day only, revealed that host temporal pattern of collected from 37 nestlings, 10 juvenile and 4 adult foraging does not aﬀect the temporal emergence of Snow Buntings. Fresh faecal samples of nestlings oocysts in the birds' faeces (Boughton, were collected from 38 nestlings from 11 nests; Experimental conditions with constant dim light 14 nestlings were sampled once, 24 nestlings were and food ad libitum destroy not only the circadian sampled repeatedly, at least twice, at diﬀerent time of activity rhythms of the host, but also the rhythms of the day. Additionally, samples from ﬂedged juveniles oocyst output in House Sparrows (Wild, and adult birds were collected by the following However, if then the food availability is restricted method. Juvenile and adult birds from the village to a particular time of the day, the oocyst output population often rest alone on wooden covers of happens at the same time of the day (Boughton, ; pipes, ca. 1 m broad, which are numerous and stretch along and across the village. Binocular observations On the other hand, Isospora parasites are recorded of resting birds determined the exact moment and the in passerine birds breeding in the Arctic (> 66°33′ spot of defecation, and the fresh faecal droplets were above the Polar Circle). During the Arctic summer, collected from the wooden pipe covers immediately there are 24 h of continuous daylight for several after shedding. By this method, an additional 3 adults months while there is no light at all during the Arctic and 8 juvenile Snow Buntings were sampled.
Keeping the clock set under the midnight sun Fig. 2. Prevalence (%) of the Snow Bunting faecalsamples containing Isospora plectrophenaxia oocysts at Fig. 1. Diurnal pattern of Isospora plectrophenaxia oocyst diﬀerent day times on Svalbard under continuous appearance in faecal samples of free-ranging Snow sunlight in the wild in 2-h intervals (± S.E.M.) (bars), Buntings on Svalbard under continuous sunlight. Bars and solar UV radiation (UV300-700 nm) at the study site represent vectors of positive faecal samples with on a clear day in July (line).
length = number of positive samples within 2-h intervals,and direction = time of the day; the line indicates P = 0·303, n = 250). Therefore, it was possible to test direction of resulting mean vector ± circular standard the time pattern of oocyst output by the Rayleigh test.
To control for the eﬀects of repeated sampling of some individuals, as well as year- and nest-eﬀects, All the samples were collected individually and in the second analysis, a general mixed model was stored in separate vials with a 2·5% aqueous solution performed. In the model, the oocyst output (0 = of potassium dichromate K2Cr2O7 at room tempera- oocysts absent; 1 = oocysts present) was the response ture until processed. Each sample was labelled with variable, time of the day (2-h intervals) was a ﬁxed date, time of the day, and age of the bird. For factor, while host individual, date and nest were nestlings, individual colour ring combinations were random factors.
also noted, to allow individual attribution. In thelaboratory, oocysts were separated from faeces byﬂ otation in saturated NaCl solution for 5 min at 375 g, and the surface layer was removed using a All oocysts belonged to the species Isospora plectro- 5-mm diameter loop, deposited on a slide, and phenaxia. Oocysts were found in faeces of 13 immediately examined under ×100 magniﬁcation to individual birds, in 19 of the 250 examined samples.
determine the presence of the oocysts (for details, Positive oocyst samples (n = 19) peaked at 4 p.m.
see Dolnik, for species determination, ×1000 (about 37% of all positive) with a prevalence of magniﬁcation with oil immersion was used.
33% ±10·5% S.E.M. (Resulting vector: direction The Atmospheric Observatory of the AWIPEV μ=17:37, length r=0·46, concentration 1·034, circu- Base in Ny-Ålesund kindly provided data on the lar variance 0·54, circular standard deviation 71·4°, daily pattern of UV radiation on a clear July day at Rayleigh Z = 4·02, P = 0·016) (and our study site, with the permission to use them for Time (2-h interval) was the signiﬁcant factor in a this publication.
general mixed model to explain the variance in oocyst Data were analysed using PASW statistics 18 and output state (F = 2·516, D.F. = 11, P < 0·005). Host Oriana 2.0 for circular statistics. In the ﬁrst approach, individual, nest or sampling date were not associated all faecal samples were treated as independent with oocyst output.
samples, because due to the life cycle of single On a clear day, the UV radiation reaches its parasite individuals, there is no reason to expect maximum at noon, which in July on Spitsbergen that variation between host individuals would explain can be up to 20 W/m2 for UV300-700 nm UVR, variation in the parasite prevalence in diﬀerent faecal diﬀering 5 times from that at midnight ).
samples. Each sample was assigned to the next evenhour of the day. For each even hour (12 per 24 hours), mean prevalence (% of positive faecal samples) wascalculated. Samples attributed to the next even hour The presence of diurnal periodicity and synchronism were homogenously distributed among these 2-h of oocyst output in the Arctic summer is especially intervals during the day (chi2 = 12·848, D.F. = 11, interesting, because neither its mechanisms, nor Olga V. Dolnik, Benjamin J. Metzger and Maarten J. J. E. Loonen adaptive reasons are clear. However, based on ambient temperature (Erikstad, ). Whatever is literature data available until now, some possible playing the role of Zeitgeber for Isospora of Snow explanations can be discussed.
Buntings, this factor either does not exist in Except in the Polar Regions, daylight is the main experimental House Sparrows under continuous external time cue (i.e. Zeitgeber) for synchronization light, or for some reason does not play the role of of circadian rhythms in living organisms (Kumar trigger for oocyst output from House Sparrows.
et al. In the wild, a 24-h period of light-dark Therefore, further research is needed to reveal which cycle synchronizes the rhythm of melatonin secretion alternative Zeitgeber is used by Isospora parasites in in pineal organ of the bird, which in turn coordinates the Polar Regions.
the circadian rhythm of bird's activity. These cyclic Possible adaptive reasons of afternoon oocyst changes of melatonin concentrations in the host's output also remain unclear. The discrepancy between blood are used by avian Isospora for oocyst output the results of the present study on the parasites of synchronization (Wild, Brandmeier, High Arctic inhabitants in the wild and those of However, the very slight increase of melatonin birds in captivity (Boughton, Wild, ; around midnight, shown for Lapland Longspurs Brandmeier, suggests the adaptive signiﬁcance at 68th latitude in Alaska indoors (Hau et al. of synchronizing the circadian rhythms in continuous can be expected to be even lower in free-ranging daylight conditions. The absence of a foraging Snow Buntings at the 78th latitude. Indeed, in the activity pattern of Snow Buntings gives the afternoon experiments on Snow Buntings at Spitsbergen, it was appearance of the oocysts no advantages of being shed conﬁrmed that the slight diﬀerences of light intensity at the feeding grounds. The most reasonable expla- between ‘day' and ‘night' is not eﬀective as the nation is adaptation of exogenous stages to changes in Zeitgeber for the birds (Krüll et al. Low or UV-radiation. The sun's irradiance, though being more or less constant melatonin leads to a destruction lowest in the Arctic, still varies signiﬁcantly through- of the bird's own circadian rhythm under exper- out the day, in clear summer days increasing 5 times imental conditions (Gwinner et al. and in the at noon compared to midnight. Humidity as another wild (Cockerm, Reierth et al. and is not abiotic factor which has been suggested as an adaptive enough to synchronize oocyst output rhythms of reason for afternoon oocyst output of Isospora species Isospora (Brandmeier, in temperate zones (Dolnik, ; Martinaud et al.
Therefore, Isospora parasites of birds in the High can hardly be of signiﬁcant importance for Arctic must be more sensitive to the slight changes in I. plectrophenaxia on Svalbard, because it remains melatonin concentrations than their congeners from over 70% throughout the day there.
temperate zones, if we assume that they still use it as a An alternative explanation can be that the adaptive Zeitgeber under polar day conditions. Otherwise, if reason is linked to endogenous stages of the parasite's host's melatonin is not available as a Zeitgeber for life cycle. First, it can be that the circadian rhythm of Isospora parasites, the oocyst output can be synchro- I. plectrophenaxia evolved on the winter grounds of nized with an alternative Zeitgeber, namely the host's the host in the temperate zone, and continues at the foraging activity (Wild, Brandmeier, host's breeding grounds. However, in this case the However, this alternative Zeitgeber is also not question with the alternative Zeitgeber remains open.
available for I. plectrophenaxia on Svalbard, as Second, it might be that synchronic re-colonization foraging activity of Snow Buntings seems to be of new cells during merogony has advantages in randomly distributed throughout the 24 h, except the ﬁght against the host's immune system. This is for a 2-h break around midnight (Haarhaus, ; indirectly supported by the data of Grulet et al.
Loonen, personal observations). In the absence of (showing that all stages of the Isospora life this alternative Zeitgeber, Isospora of experimental cycle in the House Sparrow are strictly synchronized.
House Sparrows are not able to synchronize their The third possible advantage of synchronic oocyst rhythms any more, and the oocyst output loses its output might be that it is crucial for the parasite to diurnal periodical pattern (Wild, ; Brandmeier, reach a high concentration of oocysts in a droplet ). On the contrary, although also lacking a of faeces, to enable the infection of the next possibility to use the host's melatonin or foraging host. Indeed, the dose-dependent eﬀect of coccidian activity rhythm to synchronize their circadian rhyth- infection is known for both domestic and wild mic, Isospora parasites of Snow Buntings on Svalbard animals (Long, Dolnik, ). If so, for the nevertheless synchronize their life cycle, with a peak parasite, even in the High Arctic, massive synchro- of oocyst output during the afternoon hours. This nized oocyst release, enabling higher oocysts con- might be triggered by (1) endogenous rhythmicity in centration in faecal droplet, might take over the any other physiological parameter of the bird, e.g.
advantage of being equally distributed over time and body temperature (Willmer et al. 2000), or (2) have exogenous reason, e.g. midnight ‘lull' in foraging Whatever the proximate functions and ultimate activity of the host, due to diurnal variation in food reasons are, we suggest that the ability of success- availability, which in its turn can be caused by Keeping the clock set under the midnight sun ineﬀectiveness of the ‘classical' ones is kept under Dolnik, O. (2002). Some aspects of the biology and host-parasite positive selection pressure in the wild. This, in its interactions of Isospora spp. (Protozoa: Coccidiida) of passerine birds.
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Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine Ukrainian Center of Scientific Medical Information and Patent Licensing Activity Use of the National Antineoplastic Drug of Platinum on DNA carrier at Treatment of the Advanced Forms of Malignant Neoplasms Kiev – 2010 Institution-Developer: SE «National Cancer Institute» MHC of Ukraine Institution-Codeveloper: Medical and Preventive Treatment Facility Donetsk Regional Anti Cancer Center Authors: Dudnichenko Alexander Sergeyevitch – Doctor of Medical Sciences, professor; Vorobyov Oleg Nickolayevitch – Candidate of Medical Sciences; Lischishina Elena Mikhailovna – Candidate of Medical Sciences; Lisovskaya Natalia Yurievna – Candidate of Medical Sciences; Komendant Vasiliy Vasilyevitch; Martsenkovskaya Natalia Vadimovna. Contact number: (062) 223-89-85 Reviewer: Sedakov Igor Yevgenyevitch – Doctor of Medical Sciences, professor. Chairman of the Task Group «Oncology» AMS and MHC of Ukraine: Bondar Grigoriy Vasilyevitch – Doctor of Medical Sciences, professor, academician of the AMS of Ukraine.
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