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Dev Comp Immunol. 2001 Oct-Dec;25(8-9):651-82.

Evolution of effectors and receptors of innate immunity.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E5, Canada. bmagor@ualberta.ca


The bony fishes are derived from one of the earliest divergent vertebrate lineages to have both innate and acquired immune systems. They are considered by some to be an ideal model to study the underpinnings of immune systems precisely because of their phylogenetic position and the fact that their adaptive immune systems have not been elaborated to the extent seen in mammals. By the same token, examination of innate immune systems in invertebrates and early chordates can provide insight into how homologous systems operate in fish and higher vertebrates. Herein, we provide an overview of the molecular evidence that we hope helps clarify the evolutionary relationships of innate immune molecules identified in bony fishes. The innate immune systems being considered include select chemokines (CC and CXC chemokines and their receptors), cytokines (IL-1, IL-8, interferons, TGF-beta, TNF-alpha), acute phase proteins (SAA, SAP, CRP, alpha2M, and the complement components--C3-C9, MASP, MBL, Bf), NK cell receptors, and molecules upstream and downstream of the Toll signaling pathways.

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