Mechanisms of Antigen Processing in Invertebrates: Are There Receptors?

  • L. Tučková
  • M. Bilej
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 23)


The ability to recognize self and non-self exists in all animal species. Unicellular animals, such as protozoans, which often engulf living microorganisms, must discriminate between them and nutrition proteins, to prevent damage to their own proteins during digestive processes. The mechanism of discrimination at this level is unknown. One can assume that the specificity is based on substrate specificity of the proteolytic enzymes (Valembois et al. 1973; Ratcliffe et al. 1984, 1991; Tučková etal. 1986a). The main defense mechanisms in multicellular invertebrates are certainly represented by innate factors. Microorganisms that break the outer protective barrier and invade the host are mainly eliminated by phagocytosis which can be potentiated by humoral factors. Moreover, body fluids (e.g. hemolymph, celomic fluid) contain antibacterial molecules that probably prevent the multiplication of these bacteria.


Antigen Processing Antigenic Stimulation Hemagglutinating Activity Coelomic Fluid Phagocytic Index 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Tučková
    • 1
  • M. Bilej
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, Institute of MicrobiologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrague 4Czech Republic

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