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Dev Comp Immunol. 1983 Winter;7(1):21-31.

Complement-like activity in sea urchin coelomic fluid.


A complement-like activity in echinoid coelomic cell-free fluid is described. The activity is detected by the lytic action on rabbit erythrocytes (RRBC), and by the opsonic effect on echinoid coelomic phagocytes and mouse peritoneal macrophages. This activity is very heat-labile, being completely destroyed at 37 degrees C 1/2 hr, and is inhibited by Ca2+ concentrations below 10 mM and by low pH. Lysis was complete within 3-4 min, and the titer (10(7) RRBC/ml) was 20-60 between animals. Various substances known to inhibit human complement also inhibited the lytic and opsonic activities in echinoid fluid. RRBC opsonized with echinoid fluid were attached to mouse macrophages without being internalized, an effect which resemble complement opsonization. It is concluded that an activity is present in echinoid coelomic fluid, which strongly resembles mammalian complement activated via the alternative pathway. A lectin-like activity with specificity for D-fucose was detected by the agglutination of RRBC (titer 300-600). Hemagglutination was inhibited by sugars which did not inhibit the lytic and opsonic process. On the other hand, hemagglutination was resistant to various physio-chemical treatments which led to inactivation of the complement-like system; thus these two activities seem to be unrelated. The lectin-like activity did not mediate any opsonic effect.

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