Eel Biology pp 469-484 | Cite as

Nonspecific Defense Mechanisms of the Eel

  • Yuzuru Suzuki
  • Satoshi Tasumi


All vertebrates and invertebrates have mechanisms to defend themselves from diseases. Acquired immunity, that is, immunity in the narrow sense, based on antibody production by B lymphocytes, is also included in this category. The immune system is highly sophisticated with its strict specificity against pathogens and longlasting memory for the antigen. However, acquired immunity is functional only in vertebrates and well developed only in higher vertebrates such as birds and mammals. Thus, the system is primitive in fish, which are lower vertebrates. Innate immunity, or in other words nonspecific defense mechanisms without memory, thus has much greater importance in fish, and this is more apparent in the early ontogenetic stages, that is, the embryos and larvae.


Rainbow Trout Skin Mucus Club Cell Nonspecific Defense Mechanism Secretory Vacuole 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuzuru Suzuki
    • 1
  • Satoshi Tasumi
    • 1
  1. 1.Fisheries Laboratory, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoMaisaka, ShizuokaJapan

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