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J Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 Mar 31;38(2):128-50.

Recent advances in the innate immunity of invertebrate animals.

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The Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute, Okubo 1-6-1, Kumamoto 860-8568, Japan.


Invertebrate animals, which lack adaptive immune systems, have developed other systems of biological host defense, so called innate immunity, that respond to common antigens on the cell surfaces of potential pathogens. During the past two decades, the molecular structures and functions of various defense components that participated in innate immune systems have been established in Arthropoda, such as, insects, the horseshoe crab, freshwater crayfish, and the protochordata ascidian. These defense molecules include phenoloxidases, clotting factors, complement factors, lectins, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, Toll receptors, and other humoral factors found mainly in hemolymph plasma and hemocytes. These components, which together compose the innate immune system, defend invertebrate from invading bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. This review describes the present status of our knowledge concerning such defensive molecules in invertebrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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