Molecular Studies of the Molluscan Response to Digenean Infection

  • Eric S. Loker
  • Christopher J. Bayne
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 484)


The Mollusca is one of the largest, most diverse, and structurally complex of the animal phyla. Molluscs are of considerable importance in aquaculture, as intermediate hosts of several parasites of medical and veterinary significance, and because many molluscs are rare and endangered. Recent years have witnessed the increasing application of modern techniques to molluscan immunobiology, and there is a growing understanding of the molecules involved in molluscan defense responses. Among the notable approaches are 1) dissection of signal transduction pathways in molluscan hemocytes; 2) characterization of molecules involved in adherence of molluscan cells; 3) the identification of markers segregating with resistance of snails to digenetic trematodes; and 4) molecular characterization of a family of hemolymph proteins from planorbid snails that are induced following exposure to digeneans. The latter proteins are lectins and have similarity to fibrinogen and have been termed fibrinogen-related proteins, or FREPs. FREPs are comprised of a C-terminal domain with homology to fibrinogen and an N-terminal domain with homology to V type loops of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF). Other members of the IgSF occur in molluscs and other fibrinogen-related proteins lacking Ig domains have been found in external body mucus of snails and are believed to play roles in defense.


Schistosoma Mansoni Parasite Antigen Digenetic Trematode Hemolymph Protein Biomphalaria Glabrata 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric S. Loker
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Bayne
    • 2
  1. 1.Deparment of Biology University of New Mexico AlbuquerqueMexico
  2. 2.Department of Zoology Oregon State University Corvallis

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