Send to

Choose Destination
Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2000 Apr;10(3):215-28.

Complement system of bony and cartilaginous fish.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Accumulating evidence indicates that the complement system experienced a discontinuous development at an early stage of vertebrate evolution. Invertebrates such as echinoderms and ascidians, and the most primitive extant vertebrates, the cyclostomes, seem to have a primitive complement system equipped only with the alternative and lectin pathways. In contrast, cartilaginous fish and higher vertebrates seem to have a modern complement system which has two additional pathways, namely the classical and lytic pathways. Recent molecular analyses of the complement system of bony and cartilaginous fish have not only confirmed the above conclusion, but also revealed a unique characteristic of the complement system of fish, where certain key component genes are duplicated. The complement system seems to play a more pivotal role in body defence in fish, whose adaptive immunity is considered to be at a relatively undeveloped state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center