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Dev Comp Immunol. 1988 Spring;12(2):269-77.

The phagocytic activity of Lumbricus terrestris leukocytes is enhanced by the vertebrate opsonins: IgG and complement C3b fragment.

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CNRS, Institut de Biologie Animale, Talence, France.


The effect of the vertebrates opsonins: IgG and complement C3 fragments on phagocytic activity of Lumbricus terrestris leukocytes towards sheep erythrocytes was studied. Sheep erythrocytes were previously sensitized with specific IgG or IgM and coated with one of the third component fragments (C3b, C3bi, C3d) of human complement. Our results show that leukocyte phagocytosis was enhanced by vertebrate IgG and C3b complement fragments but not by IgM and fragment C3d. Because opsonization in vertebrates is related to the presence of receptors on the surface of phagocyte membrane, our results suggest that similar receptors exist on earthworm leukocyte surfaces. These new data strengthen the arguments in favour of the presence of components in Lumbricus terrestris which partially share common structures and functions with components of vertebrate humoral immune reactions.

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