Tridacnin, a Potent Anti-Galactan Precipitin from the Hemolymph of Tridacna Maxima (Röding)
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In discussing the evolution of the immune process, Burnet (1) stated that invertebrate hemocytes possess at least a limited capacity to recognise foreignness and that agglutinins from body fluids demonstrate pseudoimmunological capacities. This, he concluded, provided the basis from which the more sophisticated antibody system of vertebrates could be developed given strong enough evolutionary forces. Many invertebrate species have been shown to be capable of phagocytosing pathogens and other materials (2) and, although a degree of specificity has been observed in the agglutinins present in the hemolymph of some invertebrates (3), phagocytosis may be the most important defense against infection in the organisms. As pointed out by Hildemann(4), invertebrates have obviously resisted infection for many millions of years without the aid of the more sophisticated adaptive immune mechanisms found in vertebrates. The ability to recognise and distinguish self from foreignness is a characteristic of all animal species and this capacity is well developed in invertebrates (4). Two good examples of this capacity amongst the invertebrates are the aggregation of sponge cells (5) and the species specificity demonstrated by fusing tunicate colonies (6). Specific interactions such as these appear to be due to glycoproteins on the cell surfaces (7, 8) and, as suggested by Marchalonis and Cone (9), vertebrate immunological mechanisms may have evolved from such invertebrate recognition phenomena.
KeywordsHouse Dust Mite Ascaris Lumbricoides Sponge Cell Blood Group Substance Tridacna Maximum
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