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Zh Obshch Biol. 2004 May-Jun;65(3):218-31.

[Comparative immunological analysis of echinoderm cellular and humoral defense factors].

[Article in Russian]


Coelomocyte are found in the fluid filling coelomic cavity of echinoderms and depending on species can be a mixture of several morphologically different types. There are among them: granular and agranular amoebocytes, morula cells, vibratile and lymphocyte-like cells. All these cells take part in cellular response to immune challenges through phagocytosis, clotting, encapsulation of foreign particles, cytotoxicity, and the production of antimicrobial agents, such as reactive oxygen and nitric oxide. The data are given on a variety of humoral factors found in the coelomic fluid, including different types of lectines, agglutinins, hemolysins, acute phase proteins and antimicrobial factors. The discussion on cooperation between cellular and humoral arms of defense reactions during inflammation reveals the crucial role of coelomocytes in immune response. It is suggested that the sea urchin complement system (that is homologous to the alternative pathway in vertebrates) is appeared initially in echinoderms as a protein cascade that points to opsonization of foreign cells and particles, augmenting their phagocytosis and subsequent destruction by coelomocytes. So the identification of a simple complement system as a part of the echinoderm immune response shows that these animals as well as all invertebrate deuterostomes share innate immune system homologies with vertebrates. Studying the simpler immune response demonstrated by echinoderms is important for understanding the ancestral deuterostome defense system and reconstructing the evolution of immune system in higher vertebrates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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