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Curr Pharm Des. 2006;12(24):3043-50.

Innate immunity in lophotrochozoans: the annelids.

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  • 1Laboratoire de NeuroImmunologie des Ann√©lides, UMR CNRS 8017, SN3, Universit√© des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France.


Innate immunity plays a major role as a first defense against microbes. Effectors of the innate response include pattern recognition receptors (PRR), phagocytic cells, proteolytic cascades and peptides/proteins with antimicrobial properties. Each element of these events has been well studied in vertebrates and in some invertebrates such as annelids. From these different researches, it appears that mammalian innate immunity could be considered as a mosaic of invertebrate immune responses. Annelids belonging to the lophotrochozoans' group are primitive coelomates that possess specially developed cellular immunity against pathogens including phagocytosis, encapsulation and spontaneous cytotoxicity of coelomocytes against allogenic or xenogenic cells. They have also developed an important humoral immunity that is based on antimicrobial, hemolytic and clotting properties of their body fluid. In the present review, we will emphasize the different immunodefense strategies that adaptation has taken during the course of evolution of two classes of annelids i.e. oligochaetes and achaetes.

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