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Bug Versus Bug Humoral Immune Responses in Drosophila melanogaster

1.2 Overview of the Drosophila Immune Abstract Insects mount a robust innate immune response against a wide array of microbial pathogens. For example, the fruit fly Drosphila melanogaster uses both cellular and humoral innate immune responses to combat pathogens. The hallmark of the Drosophila humoral immune response is the rapid induction of antimicrobial peptide genes in the fat body, the homolog of the mammalian liver. Expression of these antimicrobial peptide genes is rapidly induced by two immune signaling pathways, which respond to distinct microorganisms. The Toll pathway is activated by fungal and Gram-positive bacterial infections, whereas the IMD pathway responds to Gram-negative bacteria. In this chapter, we discuss recent advances in understanding the mechanisms involved in microbial recognition, signal transduction, and immune protection mediated by these pathways, highlighting similarities and differences between Drosophila immune responses and mammalian innate immunity.

NLRs a Conserved Cytosolic Arm of the Innate Immune System

Initial in silico searches of genomic databases for proteins related to Apaf-1 revealed a family of NLRs proteins, which comprises 22 members in humans (Table 1). Mainly expressed in immunocytes, most of the NLRs possess a tripartite structure including a C-terminal leucine-rich repeat domain that is required for ligand interaction, a central nucleotide-binding oligomerisation domain NOD (also called NACHT for neuronal apoptosis inhibitor protein), CIITA, HET-E, TP1 for oligomerization and a N-terminal specific domain to interact with downstream effectors (Table 1). NLRs are sub-classified accordingly to their effector domains (a) the NOD proteins which contain a caspase-activating and recruitment domain (CARD), (b) the NALP proteins which contain a pyrin domain (PYD), (c) the NAIP proteins which contain a baculovirus inhibitor of apoptosis protein repeat (BIR) and (d) CIITA (Table 1 Inohara et al. 2005). The biological function of NLRs is mainly conferred by their effector domain,...

Cellular Immune Responses in Drosophila melanogaster

3.6 Interactions Between Cellular and Humoral Immune Responses 90 Abstract The ability of blood cells, known as hemocytes, to detect and eliminate pathogens is vital to the Drosophila immune response. Various pathogens that can subvert the cellular immune response are often lethal to the fly. For example, para-sitoid wasps deposit their eggs with chemicals targeting Drosophila hemocytes. These chemicals increase parasitoid success. Similarly, when hemocyte counts are drastically lowered through mutations like domino, mutant larvae are vulnerable to large-scale colonization by live bacteria. Further, the inhibition of phagocytic ability in hemocytes leads to a dramatic increase in susceptibility to Escherichia coli infection in flies lacking a humoral response. This chapter discusses our current understanding of encapsulation and phagocytosis, two cellular immune responses important for defense against parasites and bacteria. Both responses initiate with recognition, followed by...

Innate Immune System of the Zebrafish Danio rerio

3 Zebrafish as a Model for Infectious Disease and Innate Immune Abstract There has been a revolution in immunology in recent years that has transformed the paradigmatic underpinnings of vertebrate immunology to include the innate immune response. The utilization of basally diverging model systems, like the zebrafish, provides particular insight into the origins and evolution of vertebrate immunity. Investigations aimed at exposing the breadth and complexity of innate immunity using the zebrafish model system have uncovered a broad spectrum of mechanisms, both novel and conserved, that add depth to our understanding of how the immune system functions. Of particular significance is the fact that, during the first 4-6 weeks of development, the zebrafish relies upon innate immunity as its sole mechanism of defense. This unique characteristic, combined with the zebrafish model's inherent advantages including high fecundity, external development, and optical transparency during early...

Interactions Between Cellular and Humoral Immune Responses

Although the Drosophila cellular and humoral immune responses were originally believed to be largely independent (Braun et al. 1998), it appears that there may be a complex and as yet poorly defined relationship between the two processes. Studies of the Drosophila immune response in which flies are naturally infected by allowing microbes to enter the host via the digestive tract led to a number of insights into how hemocytes contribute to the initiation of the humoral response. It has been suggested that hemocytes use cytokine-like molecules to mediate between the gut, where ingested pathogens are first detected, and the fat body, which regulates the systemic humoral response. Upon natural infection by the Gram-negative bacteria, Erwinia carotovora, larvae affected by mutations which result in the absence of blood cells have much lower levels of AMP expression as compared with wild-type flies (Basset et al. 2000). The advantages of the Drosophila system make it an excellent system for...

Cytoskeleton remodeling by Roprac Gtpase during immune responses

The actin cytoskeleton plays a crucial role in innate immune response at the early stage of fungal penetration (Kobayashi et al., 1997). Actin microfilaments are polarized toward the penetration sites of the biotrophic powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei (Bgh) in barley mutant lacking the susceptibility factor mildew resistance locus (MLO) (Opalski et al., 2005). The polarization of actin microfilaments is closely associated with successful prevention of penetration of Bgh, in which actin focusing is induced in resistant response, but not in susceptible response. An active mutant of barley, HvRACB, partially inhibits actin reorganization, which results in enhanced

Monitoring the Worm Innate Immune Response Following Different Modes of Pathogen Infections

A hallmark of the innate immune response in C. elegans, as in other invertebrates, is the challenge-induced synthesis of a battery of antimicrobial peptides and proteins, which are expressed in tissues in contact with invading microorganisms. C. elegans encodes a wide diversity of candidate immune effectors, which include lysozymes, caenopores or saposin-like proteins (ssp), antimicrobial caenacins (cnc) and neuro-peptide-like proteins (nlp), thaumatins (thm), PR-1 plant antimicrobial homologues, lipases, proteins with Metridin-like ShK toxin domain SHKT, defensin like ABF peptides (abf), C-type lectins (clec) and CUB-like gene family members (see reviews by Schulenburg et al. 2008 Nicholas and Hodgkin 2004b). Microarray experiments designed to identify pathogen-induced genes have revealed many effectors which may recognize or eliminate pathogens. Among them are the C-type lectin domain containing proteins (CTLD) which are part of a large family of mostly secreted proteins whose exact...

The Immune System and Cancer Prevention

Inulin and fructooligosaccharides modulate the response of the immune system to illness, through the stimulation of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, and the improvement of the general microfloral balance in the colon (Watzl et al., 2005 Yasui et al., 1992). In this role, prebiotics have been shown to promote the production of macrophages, lymphocytes, and antibodies, in particular the local production of immunoglobulin A (IgA)-positive cells in the intestines and cecal mucosa (Bornet, 2001 Hosono et al., 2003 Kadooka et al., 1991 Roberfroid, 2005 Yasui et al., 1992). In addition, thriving bifidobacteria and lactobacilli populations help to strengthen the mucosa-blood barrier in the intestine lining. They do this by outcompeting pathogens for adhesion sites on the intestinal lining, producing short-chain fatty acids that nourish cells in the mucosal layer, lowering intestinal pH to levels unfavorable to pathogens, and releasing bacteriocins against pathogens (Anon., 2006 Wang and...

Overview of the Drosophila Immune Response

Drosophila has a multi-layered system for host defense. The chitin-based exoskel-eton and chitinous internal structures form a physical barrier. If a pathogen breaches these barriers, several immune effector mechanism respond, including cellular responses (i.e. phagocytosis, encapsulation, melanization) and humoral responses (i.e. antimicrobial peptides). Antimicrobial peptides are found both locally, at the site of infections, and systemically in the insect sera, or hemolymph. In terms of the systemic humoral response, the fat body is the major site of antimicrobial peptide production, although other tissues also contribute, including the malphigian tubules and circulating blood cells, known as hemocytes. The local response induces antimicrobial peptide gene expression in epithelial tissues, like the trachea and the gut (Ferrandon et al. 1998 Liehl et al. 2006 Tzou et al. 2000). Recognition is the first step in a cascade of events that leads to these immune responses. Microbial...

Immune Function

A potent immune system modulator, arginine is useful for treating suboptimal immune responses and can reduce the occurrence of postsurgical infections. Supplemental arginine can decrease the amount of cell-adhesion molecules (useful for preventing viral and bacterial entry) and lowers pro-inflammatory cytokines arginine's effects on these molecules are thought to alter the balance of cytokines positively. In one study, arginine (30 g per day, for three days) up-regulated natural-killer cell activity, lymphocyte reactivity, and lymphokine activation of natural-killer cells in patients with breast cancer.42 Conversely, arginine may promote tumor growth by providing a source of nitrogen.43

Evolution of the Plant R Gene System

Plant innate immunity consists of preformed physical and chemical barriers (such as leaf hairs, rigid cell walls, pre-existing antimicrobial compounds) and induced defenses. Should an invading microbe successfully breach the preformed barriers, it may be recognized by the plant, resulting in the activation of cellular defense responses that stop or restrict further development of the invader (Nurnberger et al. 2004). Apart from virus-induced RNA silencing, an ancient, evolutionary conserved antiviral defense mechanism in both plants and animals (which is not discussed in this chapter), two evolutionarily interrelated mechanisms have evolved in plants for detection of the invading microbes. First, plants are able to recognize some conserved microbe-derived molecules which are collectively described as microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) by cell-surface receptors and trigger immune response (Gomez-Gomez and Boller 2000 Zipfel et al. 2006). Evidence is accumulating that this...

Conservation and Diversity of Plant R Genes

Most isolated R genes seem to activate common or overlapping sets of defense programs in local areas infected by pathogens. Those defense responses include transcriptional induction of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes, production of reactive oxygen species, fortification of the cell wall, synthesis of antimicrobial compounds and, in many cases, a hypersensitive response (HR) which is a form of plant programmed cell death analogous to animal apoptosis (Hammond-Kosack and Jones 1997 Dangl and Jones 2001 Nurnberger et al. 2004). The primary local resistance triggered by R genes may also lead to activation of a secondary defense termed systemic acquired resistance in the uninfected tissues, which is a more long-lasting immune response throughout the whole plant against a broad range of pathogens (Durrant and Dong 2004).

Cnidaria Are Among the Earliest Multicellular Animals in the Tree of Life

Fig. 2 The freshwater polyp Hydra relies entirely on defense mechanisms in epithelial cells. In the absence of physical barrier defenses, immune responses to external antigens are induced in the presence of danger. Danger is recognized through pattern-recognition receptors, with the resultant release of active defenses, such as antimicrobials or antiproteinases. A Schematic longitudinal cross-section indicating the simple epithelial organization. B Photograph (courtesy of Dr. F. Anton-Erxleben) of a section of part of the epithelial lining of the body column, showing the diploblastic organization. End Endoderm, ect ectoderm, m mesoglea Fig. 2 The freshwater polyp Hydra relies entirely on defense mechanisms in epithelial cells. In the absence of physical barrier defenses, immune responses to external antigens are induced in the presence of danger. Danger is recognized through pattern-recognition receptors, with the resultant release of active defenses, such as antimicrobials or...

Controlling Toxic Risk

Wellness is the state of existence that arises when health-sustaining homeostatic balance is gained and maintained. Individual and cumulative toxic exposures threaten this optimal homeostatic state. However, identifying and compensating for toxic exposure can minimize the detrimental effects of the exposure. General signs, symptoms, and risks that may indicate the presence of a high risk for toxic load include diabetes congestive heart failure obesity history of alcohol abuse psoriasis and other skin disorders heavy exposure to industrial or household chemicals frequent or recurrent use of medications use of hormonal therapy, including hormone replacements and oral contraceptives and disease states that alter liver, kidney, or GI functioning. Also, due to the sensitivity of the immune system, immunologic disorders may also be seen with toxic exposures such as autoimmune diseases, immune suppression, and chronic inflammation. The review below of the mechanisms of some of the most...

How to Detect and Disarm Microbial Attackers Antimicrobial Defense Reactions in the Freshwater Polyp Hydra and the

And transcriptome analysis approach to identify proteins and genes involved in epithelial defense (Bosch et al., in preparation). We could show that, in Hydra, all innate immune responses are mediated by the epithelial cells. Following pathogen invasion, there is an activation of an inducible defense system marked by an increased expression of genes encoding antimicrobial peptides. One of them is Hydramacin-1, a basic eight cysteines containing a cationic 60-aa peptide with a calculated molecular mass of 7009 Da (Bosch et al., in preparation). Hydramacin-1 is expressed exclusively in the endodermal epithelium, inducible by microbial products, and an antimicrobial peptide with extraordinary high activity against Bacillus megaterium (Bosch et al., in preparation). In the absence of conventional Toll-like receptors (TLRs Miller et al. 2007), a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) lacking putative transmembrane receptor with a highly conserved Toll IL-1 receptor (TIR) domain responds to microbial...

How to Explore the Path They Went Why Cnidarians Matter

A few years ago, outside the vertebrates the molecular nature of immune reactions could be approached only in a very few model species. Now the tide has turned in silico approaches allow us to mine practically any species of choice. The question is no longer can we molecularly study this species or not. The question now is does this species tell us anything new about the history of the immune system which we did not know before and which we can learn from hardly anywhere else. In this respect, comparative immunology entered an era of radically widening horizons. As a sister group to the bilateria, Cnidaria are an important phylum, potentially providing key insight to the ancestry and evolution of immune reactions. As outlined above and elsewhere (Hemmrich et al. 2007 Miller et al. 2007), much effort in cnidarian research has recently been directed towards cloning evolutionarily conserved genes known to play critical roles in innate immunity in bilaterians. Data from several cnidarian...

Small Molecules Involved In Signaling And Execution Of Hr Cell Death

In animal cells, nitric oxide (NO) is known to act as second messenger in concert with ROI in processes such as the innate immune response, inflammation, and PCD. Recently it was shown that NO might also play an important role in the regulation of defense responses in plants. Infection of resistant, but not susceptible, tobacco plants with tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) resulted in enhanced NO synthase activity (Durner et al., 1998). Furthermore, external application of NO induced salicylic acid accumulation and PR gene expression, and NO inhibitors blocked both effects. This suggests that several critical players of animal NO signaling, such as cyclic GMP or cyclic AMP-ribose, are also operative in plants (Durner et al., 1998 Klessig et al., 2000). In cultured soybean (Glycine max L.) cells, it was demonstrated that the efficient induction of HR cell death required a balance between ROI and NO production, whereas unregulated NO production was not sufficient to induce HR cell death...

Is Protein Degradation Important For Execution Of Hr Cell Death

In addition to ubiquitin, several other ubiquitin-like polypeptide tags such as SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifiers), RUB (related to ubiquitin), and APG12 (autophagy-defective-12) have been identified in plants. Similar to ubiquitin, these alternative modifiers are attached to -lysyl groups of target proteins, thereby influencing their structure, location, and turnover (Vierstra and Callis, 1999). Evidence for the involvement of the ubiquitin-like modifier SUMO-1 in disease resistance was recently obtained for the interaction between Nicotiana benthamiana and the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas campestris (Orth et al., 2000). The bacterial avirulence gene product AvrBsT induces HR cell death and shares significant similarity with the YopJ protein of the human pathogen Yersinia pestis, which inhibits the host immune response. These YopJ family members were shown to act as cysteine proteases, specifically removing SUMO-1 residues from its protein conjugates (Orth et al., 2000)....

Regulation of cell wall biosynthesis

Deposition of lignin on the cell wall is one of the immune responses. Lignin, which is polymerized through peroxidase activity using hydrogen peroxide in the cell wall, presents an undegradable mechanical barrier to most pathogens (Moerschbacher et al., 1990). Rice cinnamoyl-CoA reductase 1 (OsCCR1), a key enzyme for synthesis of monolignols in lignin biosynthesis, has been identified as an effector of OsRAC1 (Kawasaki et al., 2006). OsCCR1 is specifically expressed during defense responses, indicating that OsCCR1 contributes to lignin biosynthesis in the immune response, but not in development. The interaction of OsCCR1 with OsRAC1 drastically activates OsCCR1 activity in vitro, and transgenic cell cultures expressing CA-OsRAC1 accumulates lignin through enhanced CCR activity (Kawasaki et al., 2006). As mentioned above, OsRAC1 also stimulates NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS production that is required for the polymerization of monolignol on the cell wall. These data suggest that OsRAC1...

Arabidopsis Leaf Trichome

Trichome endoreduplication appears controlled by immunophilins. Overexpression of FIP37, which interacts with the immunophilin FKBP12, was shown to greatly stimulate endoreduplication specifically in trichomes, with ploidies up to 256C and enhanced trichome size and branching (Vespa et al. 2004). However, while a great deal is known about the functions of im-munophilins in animals and particularly in human immune response, plant immunophilins are largely uncharacterized, and it is currently unclear how FIP37 affects the endoreduplication cycle in trichomes.

Basal Constitutive Response

Several lines of evidence support that the nervous system and the innate immune response are tightly interconnected. However, how neuronal mechanisms can regulate innate immunity is still unclear. Recent advance in this field came from work by two independent laboratories and led to the identification of specific neuroendocrine signals that can modulate immune responses in C. elegans. First, the Tan laboratory has shown that an increase in neurosecretion involving dense core vesicles (DCV) can reduce the resistance of C. elegans to the pathogenic bacteria to P. aeruginosa PA14 infection, by modulating innate immunity genes in the worm. Typically, enhanced resistance was observed in mutants with deficient DCV exocytosis such as unc-31 and unc-64 or in animals defective in the insulin-like neuropeptide ins-7. All these mutants seemed to be able to clear the bacterial infection in the intestine to a far greater extent than wild-type worms and in addition they expressed higher levels of...

Dietary Interventions

A well-nurtured body is a more resilient one. A healthy diet and stress reduction can help alleviate not only the symptoms but also the imbalances that underlie endometriosis. Diets high in fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins and flavonoids required to decrease inflammation and oxidation. Nutritional status affects the immune response, inflammation, and hormone regulation. Studies have demonstrated that dietary vitamins and minerals protect patients against immune suppression caused by dioxin exposure and that dietary fiber promotes fecal excretion of dioxin.59 The phytochemical indole-3-carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, and mustard greens, may prove to be clinically useful for treating endometriosis because this phytochemical modulates estrogen levels. Liver function can be improved by increasing intake of artichokes, burdock root, beets, dandelion greens, lemons, carrots, onions, and garlic. Diets...

Conclusions And Future Directions

In limiting growth of various types of pathogens is not fully understood. Recent work on HR cell death in plants has uncovered an increasing number of morphological and biochemical features that are identical or similar to cellular events occurring during apoptosis in animal systems. This may indicate that the ordered dismantling of the cell is an ancient mechanism that has been conserved during evolution and that is utilized during developmental processes as well as during the cellular immune response across kingdoms. However, despite obvious similarities between plant HR cell death and animal apoptosis, differences are also apparent. In particular, it is at present unresolved to what extent signaling pathways overlap and control elements (regulators) of HR and PCD are structurally and functionally conserved. Thus one of the future challenges will be to unravel the complete signaling network that is engaged in cell death control. From the current information, it is clear that...

Health aspects of carotenoids

In human nutrition, carotenoids play an important role as a source of provitamin A. In the gastrointestinal tract 3-carotene gets converted to vitamin A, which plays an important role in the regulation of vision, growth and reproduction (Ong and Choo, 1997). More recently, however, the protective effects of carotenoids against serious disorders such as cancer (Peto et al., 1981 Shekelle et al., 1981), heart disease, squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, oral tumours and degenerative eye disease have been recognized, and have stimulated intensive research into the role of carotenoids as antioxidants and as regulators of the immune response system. The antioxidant property of 3-carotene by its effective radical trapping was studied by Burton and Ingold (1984). Kunert and Tappel (1983) reported the efficient reduction of lipid peroxidation by prior treatment with 3-carotene in guinea pigs.

Transmembrane and Circulating Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins are Involved in the Recognition of Bacteria

Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) are a highly conserved family of proteins. Proteins in the PGRP family have been classified into long (PGRP-L) or short (PGRP-S) forms. Both forms include membrane-bound and secreted proteins. (For a review of PGRP structure and activity, see Werner et al. 2000 Steiner 2004.) Both types recognize bacterial peptidoglycan (PGN) and contain a C-terminal domain that bears similarity to N-acetylmuramoyl-l-alanine amidases. It is believed that this amidase activity acts as a scavenger to degrade free PGN and limit an immune response (Mellroth et al. 2003). Several PGRPs have been identified as receptors in immune-responsive tissues. PGRP recognition of PGN leads to a cellular response of phagocytosis by hemocytes, or a humoral response, with the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) by the fat body. One family member, PGRP-LC, was originally identified for its role in the humoral immune response. This receptor acts upstream of the Imd...

Possible Roles of Radicals in Plants

The involvement of ROS in signal transduction and immune response is well documented in both plants and animals however their role in DNA damage is less obvious. This is probably due to the fact that it is difficult to link the level of particular radicals generated in vivo and the actual event of DNA damage. In contrast, in vitro studies clearly showed the ability of radical-producing compounds to directly damage DNA (Kim S.H. et al. 2002, Lewinska et al. 2008, Meriyani Odyuo and Sharan 2005). Earlier Brennan and Schiestl (1998) showed that exposure of yeast cells to aniline and thiourea produced reactive oxygen species and increased the level of intrachromosomal homologous recombination (Brennan and Schiestl 1998). Interestingly, exposure to pathogens and or pathogen-mimicking

Urochordates are at the Root of Vertebrate Evolution

Fig. 1 Urochordates separated from the predecessors of a vertebrate lineage around 570 million years (myr) ago and share many features of the innate immune system with vertebrates. However, they do not possess the molecular machinery of the adaptive immune system found in jawed vertebrates (Gnathostomata). The emergence of a recombinatorial adaptive immune system featuring immunoglobulins, TCR and MHC took place sometime during the transition from Agnatha to Gnatostomata. A search for these cardinal elements of a recombinatorial immune system in lymphocyte-like cells of the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, has not been fruitful, hence the agnathans remain a gray zone in the evolution of adaptive immunity in vertebrates. Blue background phylogenetic groups with both adaptive and innate immune systems

Allorecognition in Urochordates

Despite their apparent simplicity and lack of obvious predecessors of an adaptive immune system, urochordates have several well documented forms of allorecogni-tion. Two types of allogeneic recognition are observed. One is colony specificity in compound ascidians (see the review by Saito et al. 1994 Magor et al. 1999 Hirose 2003), and the other is self-sterility (blocked self-fertilization) which has been reported in colonial ascidians like Botryllids (see the review by Saito et al. 1994), solitary ascidians such as Halocynthia roretzi (see the review by Sawada 2002), and Ciona intestinalis (Murabe and Hoshi 2002).

Forward and Reverse Genetics

One of the most useful methods for determining gene function involves knocking out or disrupting the unknown coding sequence in an animal model and subsequently observing which structure or function is deleted. Knockout mice with distinct gene deletions are valuable tools for in vivo analysis of the immune response against infectious agents. These studies make possible the elucidation of the importance of different arms of the immune system to fight infection. Although there are numerous advantages to using the zebrafish system, including clear embryos, external fertilization, short generation times, and large clutches per mating, chromosomal integration is rare, and there are currently no widely available methods for generating gene knockouts. An alternative strategy for loss-of-function studies is large-scale N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) chemical mutagenesis. In these screens, however, mutants of unknown molecular nature are isolated. Screening this large collection for a mutant...

Distribution and Ecological Roles

Although bacteria may appear simple, they excel in the diversity and complexity of their metabolic capabilities and they are able to survive in many places. Bacteria are found everywhere on Earth where life is able to exist. They are plentiful in soils, bodies of water, on ice and snow, and are even found deep within Earth's crust. They often take advantage of living in and on other organisms in symbiotic relationships and can be found inhabiting the intestinal tracts and surfaces of animals, including humans. For the most part, the bacteria in and around us bring us more benefit than harm. Sometimes however, bacteria can be pathogenic, or disease causing. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as when the host has a compromised immune system or when a bacterium acquires genes that make it grow more aggressively or secrete toxins into its host environment.

Additional Innate Immunity Receptors in Zebrafish

In mammals, NK cells mediate their activities through inhibitory and activating receptors which distinguish between self and nonself based upon recognition of MHC class I and or activating ligands (Lanier 2005). Inhibitory NK receptors contain cytoplasmic immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs (ITIMs) that trigger a signal transduction cascade that results in the prevention or reduction of NK cell activation (Lanier 2005). Activating NK receptors utilize adaptor proteins containing immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs Lanier 2005). Phosphorylation of ITAMs triggers an activation of the NK cell, leading to degranulation and upregulation of cytokines and chemokines and attack on the target cell (Lanier 2005). As described, fishes do not possess NK cells per se rather, they possess NCCs and other NK-like cells that function similarly in mediating cytotoxicity. The presence of such cells in fishes present interesting questions related to origins of vertebrate...

Strategies Relying on Chemical Derivatization

Al(OH)3 is a well-known and widely used adjuvant in medicine. Adjuvants are additives that enhance the effectiveness of medical treatment by potentiating the immune response and functioning as a carrier for antigens 54, 55 . Because of this wide application, protein adsorption to Al(OH)3 has been studied in considerable detail and some of those studies also investigate the binding behavior of phosphorylated proteins to Al(OH)3 56-59 . In addition, aluminium oxide, a close relative of Al(OH)3, has been reported to exhibit a high and selective attraction to phosphorylated biomolecules 60 . The conclusion of these studies is that Al(OH)3 and oxide both have a high affinity for phosphorylated biomolecules and

Conventional Therapies

IFN-beta (IFN-b) (e.g., IFNA-beta-lb, Betaseron IFN-beta-la, Avonex and IFN-beta-la, Rebif)17 is used to modify the immune response in MS. IFN-beta affects the immune system by inhibiting T-cell stimulation and increasing the activity of CD8 suppressor lymphocytes. IFN-beta also regulates the production of IFN-gamma. The net effect is to reduce the overall immune response to myelin in MS. Also, IFN-beta restores the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, decreasing T-cell migration into the brain. In inflammatory conditions in the CNS such as

Plant Innate Immunity and Symbioses

And SENESCENCE ASSOCIATED GENE101 (SAG101), the transcription factor bZIP10, the NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES 1 (NPR1) protein, and the autoactive sncl protein itself (Shen and Schulze-Lefert 2007 Wiermer et al. 2007). Interestingly, mice with reduced Nup96 levels are more susceptible to viral infection and impaired in interferon-mediated protein expression (Faria et al. 2006) , while the Drosophila homolog of Nup88, members only (mbo) , is required for immune response activation after bacterial infection (Uv et al. 2000). Taken together, these findings suggest a functional conservation of the role of certain nucleoporins in immune responses in plants as well as animals.

Helena Sestakova and Bohumil Turek

Immunologic studies are generally concerned with the response of an organism to foreign (extraneous) substances entering the body. The basic function of the immune system is to differentiate between foreign and one's own molecules, and to protect against extraneous proteins. An immune reaction takes the form either of a specific response mediated by T and B cells, or of a nonspecific (natural) response mediated by macrophages, natural killer cells, and polymorpho-nuclear leukocytes (PMNLs). A positive or negative effect on immunity of substances obtained from plants or of nutritional factors is therefore very important for maintaining the integrity of an organism. One of the most important mechanisms underlying the natural defense of an organism is phagocytosis. Quantitative as well as qualitative insufficiency of the system of phagocytosis results, among other things, in an increased sensitivity of an individual to infectious agents. PMNLs are responsible for natural defense, and...

NLRs a Cytosolic Armory of Microbial Sensors Linked to Human Diseases

2 NLRs, a Conserved Cytosolic Arm of the Innate Immune 3 Physiological Role of NLRs in Innate and Adaptive Immunity NLRs Join TLRs 174 Abstract In mammals, a tissue-specific set of Nod-like receptors (NLRs) enables collectively a swift and differential cytosolic detection of evolutionary distant microbial- and or danger-associated molecular patterns from the extracellular and intracellular microenvironment. Repressing and de-repressing this surveillance machinery contribute to vital immune homeostasis and protective responses within specific tissues. Conversely, defective biology of NLR signaling pathways drives the development of recurrent infectious and or inflammatory diseases by failing to mount barrier functions, to instruct the adaptive immune response and or to ignore self and non-self antigens. Better decoding of microbial shedding and immune escape strategies will provide clues for the development of rational therapies striving to cure and prevent common and emerging...

Structural Responses to Temperature

Helical propensity increases with decreased temperature and reversibly high temperature melts out structures such as a-helices. Since some dehydrins are highly expressed at low temperature, the idea that changes in temperature could promote a structural change in dehydrins was suggested. Hence, as temperature decreases, dehydrins would collapse into more helical conformation and possibly also gain function. It seems that the structure of the dehydrins responds opposite to what is expected. In CD studies, the dehydrins respond to elevated temperature by an apparent increase in helical structure (Soulages et al. 2003 Mouillon et al. 2006). However, this apparent increase in dehydrin structure is actually a decrease of the non-classical secondary structure polyproline helix (PII). Both dehydrins from soybean and Arabidopsis responded to increased temperature indicative of inclusion of PII conformation. Approximately 10-20 of the dehydrin structures are estimated to be in PII helixes....

Host Sensing of NonTlr Pamps Lessons from NOD1 and NOD2 Studies

NOD23020ins allele showed increased susceptibility to antigen-specific colitis (Watanabe et al. 2006) and to DSS-induced colitis (Maeda et al. 2005), respectively. More recently, professional immunocytes carrying NOD2 mutations or lacking NOD2, but not NOD1, showed impaired responsiveness to MDP (Inohara et al. 2003 Li et al. 2004 Netea et al. 2005 van Heel et al. 2005), but also to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Ferwerda et al. 2005). However, NOD2 was dispensable for cytokine production in response to L. monocytogenes, as shown by the normal inflammatory cytokines production of Nod2-deficient macrophages compared with wild-type macrophages. These results indicate an essential role of NOD2 in innate and adaptive immunity at the intestinal mucosal interface. Further, recent reports unravelled a NOD1-dependent sensing of the non-invasive Gram-negative pathogen Helicobacter pilori (Viala et al. 2004), through the detection of muropeptides injected into host cells by a bacterial type IV...

NLRs Promote Maturation of TLRInduced Il1 and IL18 Release

Caspase-1 activation is crucial to repel pathogenic infection and to promote the maturation of the adaptive immune system (Kuida et al. 1995 Gu et al. 1997). Upon microbial recognition, the expression of IL-1 and IL-18 is mainly induced in a TLR-dependent manner. However, the maturation of such cytokines requires a simultaneous TLR-independent activation of inflammatory caspases, such as caspase-1 and caspase-5 (and caspase-11 in mice). Several recent reports identified a caspases-activating molecular platform, referred as inflammasome (Martinon et al. 2002 Agostini et al. 2004 Mariathasan et al. 2004 Martinon and Tschopp 2004). The inflammasome assembly is conferred by homophilic interactions with the PYD and CARD. ASC can be linked to NALP1, NALP2 and or NALP3 through a PYD-PYD interaction and to caspase-1 through a CARD-CARD interaction (Fig. 1). An additional molecular assembly has been reported for NALP1, but not NALP3, which can recruit the caspase-5 through homophilic CARD-CARD...

Overall Naturopathic Approach

It may even be the case that, while one individual's RA is based largely in adrenal cortex dysfunction, another patient's RA may develop after an immune response to Proteus, and still another patient's RA may result from prolonged exposure to silica. And, even when etiologic factors are identified, we still must consider the issue of susceptibility after all, not everyone with some adrenal dysfunction, some exposure to Proteus, or some time working in the industrial-sand industry will develop RA. Thus, the overall aspect of health and human frame (human frame refers to human tissues, mind, and spirit) must be addressed and a naturopathic approach including clinical nutrition, botanical medicines, counseling, and appropriate physical medicine has a good deal to offer. There is some evidence that, for many patients, a week of fasting followed by a vegetarian diet will reduce the symptoms of RA over the course of a year.38 During the fasting period of the study...

Nitric Oxide A Powerful Clinical Therapy

Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that has significant effects on many physiologic processes in the body. This gas plays a role in inflammation, the immune response, and neurotransmission in the brain, as well as in the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Dysfunction in the NO pathway is associated with many diseases. Conditions such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, and stroke are correlated with NO pathology. Current research suggests that manipulation of NO activity may have profound effects on overall health. Many pharmaceuticals as well as nutrients, supplements, and diet are being investigated and prescribed to modulate NO activity.

Glutathione and the Salicylic Acid Signaling Pathway

The salicylic acid (SA) signaling pathway is a main route for the induction of defense-associated genes, as part of a plant immune response elicited by attempted infection via some avirulent pathogens (see Fig. 3). The immune response subsequently confers local and systemic resistance to the corresponding virulent pathogen. The key gene that regulates the induction of defense genes and resistance is called NON EXPRESSOR OFPR1-1 (NPR1). The name of the gene comes from the way mutant alleles of the gene were first recognized (Cao et al., 1994). The NPR1 protein encoded by this gene contains ankyrin repeat domains that, from the outset, implicated it in protein-protein interactions. Impressive progress in our understanding of how this gene regulates expression of defense genes has been made in recent years and is outlined in Figure 3. This scheme shows that NPR1 can exist in an oxidized (and possibly aggregated) inactive form and a reduced active form, which permits its interaction with...

Systems for interorgan communication

In animals, two major systems are involved in inter-organ communication, i.e. the nervous system and the hormone system. In addition, the immune system uses different classes of chemical messengers (e.g. interleukins, interferons, nitric oxide) to coordinate the defence response (Norman & Litwack, 1987 Roitt, Brostaff & Male, 1993). Although the metabolism of individual plant and animal cells may show many similarities, there is no a priori reason why the mechanisms, involved in the responses to environmental cues and in communication between different organs should in any way be the same. However, systems showing some similarities to the animal nervous system have been found in plants. For instance, mechanisms have evolved to respond within seconds to mechanical perturbation in Drosera (sundew) and Mimosa pudica. The movements of the leaves of Mimosa pudica are regulated by motor organs (pulvini) and are the result of turgor variations in the cortical (motor) cells of these organs....

Conclusions and Outlook

In some bacterial species, a plant endophytic life style is quite common or even the rule (e.g., in some species of the genera Gluconacetobacter, Herbaspirillum or Azoarcus), while in other cases only specific strains have endophytic potential (like in Azospirillum). Therefore, it is important to specify clearly the bacterial strain and the matching plant partner down to the cultivar level. It becomes apparent that the plant partner plays a major role in allowing or prohibiting the entry and distribution of a bacterium within its organs. The recognition processes in bacteria-plant interactions are quite well understood in the case of plant pathogens. Possibly, similar key determinants such as the lipopolysaccharide and exopolysaccharide structures, the flagellin type, and the type of signaling molecules produced by the bacteria, e.g., for quorum sensing, are potential elicitors of the plant's innate immune response.

Piergiorgio Pietta Pierluigi Mauri and Nicola Fuzzati

Preparations of aerial parts and roots from three Echinacea species (e.g., E. angustifolia DC., roots, E. pallida Nutt., roots and E. purpurea Moench, roots and tops) are generally employed for treatment of cold, flu, and chronic respiratory infections (Grimm and Muller, 1999). Echinacea species contain a variety of components that may contribute to the nonspecific enhancement of the immune system (Bauer et al., 1998) and to antiinflammatory properties (Muller-Jakic et al., 1994). It is accepted that these activities depend on the combined action of the following categories of compounds polar caffeoyl conjugates and polysaccharides and lipophilic alkamides and polyacetylenes. In particular, caffeic acid derivatives and alkamides have been proven to contribute considerably to the biological properties of Echinacea species. Among caffeic acid derivatives, cichoric acid (dicaffeoyl tartaric acid) is known to have in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory activity. Moreover, it inhibits a key...

Toxic Secondary Metabolites of Fungi Mycotoxins in Oxidative Stress

Biosynthesis of salicylic acid - as a key molecule involved in the immune response in plants -accompanies oxidative stress as confirmed in plants of many species in the case of pathogen attack (O'Donnell et al. 2001 Vasyukova and Ozeretskovskaya 2007) . Constitutive levels of

History Of Aerobiology

History Aerobiology

On account of the tremendous applications of aeropalynology in public health and medicines, a new term has been added recently known as 'medical palynology'. This branch is concerned with the study of airborne pollen and fungal spores, which are responsible for causing allergic manifestations including the triggering effect leading to asthmatic attacks. (Mackay et al., 1992) In addition, various aspects of immunotherapy are investigated involving hyposensitization of allergy patients by using pollen and fungal aeroallergen extracts.

The Role of the Surface Coat in Immune Evasion by Animal Parasitic Nematodes

Disguise of the parasite cuticle surface with the acquisition of host derived antigens (Smithers and Doenhoff 1982) and the action of parasite surface proteases that can cleave the Fc region of Immunoglobulins (Auriault et al. 1981) are some other mechanisms that may also help parasites to evade the host immune response by inhibiting important cellular functions. Evasion of host immunity by Toxocara canis infective larvae is mediated by the nematode SC, as this nematode is able to shed the entire SC in response to binding antibodies or eosinophils, thus permitting parasites to physically escape immune attack (Maizels and Loukas 2001a). The major constituent of the SC of this nematode is the O-linked TES-120 (Toxocara excretory secretory) glycopro-teins series, which has a typical mucin domain and may explain a generally non-adhesive property of this parasite. Membrane associated mucins are closely concerned with the adhesion status of cells through electrostatic charge and due to...

Glycine And Dimethylglycine

And swallowed (can be taken several times per day) Immune function Most studies have shown benefit using doses Proline and hydroxyproline telopeptides, collagen, and aging Serine psychiatric disorders, mood, and memory Threonine immune system function, precursor to phosphatidylserine Tyrosine antidepressant betaine as homocysteine is methylated).25 Acting as a methyl group donor, DMG has a reputation for benefiting children with autism, who have symptomatic improvement within days of taking the supplement. Other research shows that DMG also has an immune-enhancing effect. Both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses are increased with DMG supplementation.26 DMG is absorbed in the small intestine and metabolized in the liver to mono-methylglycine or sarcosine, which, in turn, is converted into glycine. DMG has been shown to have anticonvulsant effects in patients with mixed complex partial and grand mal seizures.27 Some research has investigated DMG for improvement of oxygen...

Quality issues with echinacea products

As outlined at the beginning of this chapter, monographs on Echinacea and anecdotal accounts often refer to limitations on its use. In particular, there is referral to the concept that Echinacea will cause a tachyphylaxis in immune response and hence should only be used for 5 days or so. Certainly continuous use is not advised by several sources. Also it is often written that Echinacea is contraindicated in autoimmune disease. The origin of this highly cautious approach to what is a relatively benign agent needs to be critically examined. The extensive range of conditions for which the Eclectics prescribed Echinacea is summarized in Table 14.1. It is clear from this table that the limitations on Echinacea suggested by modern writers are not supported. The conditions in the table are mainly infections and envenomations of various kinds (which clearly attest to Echinacea's influence on the immune system). However, the inclusion of tuberculosis and disorders related to autoimmunity such...

Echinacea as an immunomodulator

When the clinical and in vivo studies of Echinacea are carefully examined, most conclude that the herb increases phagocytic activity. Even the polysaccharides only enhance macrophage activity and killing (Bauer and Wagner, 1991). Phagocytic cells are part of nonspecific immunity. What is often not appreciated is that the activities of phagocytic cells, especially macrophages, are a key element of immune surveillance. The macrophage secretes several immune-enhancing cytokines and pro cesses antigenic material and then presents this to the helper T-cell. Helper T-cells can only effectively respond to antigen presented in this way. Hence, if an herb such as Echinacea significantly increases phagocytic activity, the end result will be enhanced immune surveillance. For infections in general, the fact that Echinacea increases phagocytic activity emphasizes that it works best as a prophylactic or in the very early stages of an infection. This is because enhanced phagocytosis gives better...

Professor T Sreeramulu 19251974

Annual conventions in different parts of India and training programmes for general physicians, which involve practical training in aeroallergens, diagnosis and treatment of allergy by using immunotherapy. The methodology for assessment of allergenicity to aeroallergens by skin tests, particularly the grading of skin sensitivity proposed by him in 1962 is widely followed by several clinicians all over India and abroad.

Role of TIRContaining Adapter Molecules in TLR Signaling

Degradation (Mansell et al. 2006), representing a rapid and selective means of limiting the innate immune response. Whereas TIRAP MAL has been postulated to serve as a bridging adapter between TLR2, TLR4 and MyD88, it cannot be ruled out that it also mediates specific signaling functions. In this respect, Horng et al. (2002) showed that PKR is a downstream target of TIRAP Mal and Kagan and Medzhitov (2006) recently reported that TIRAP Mal is recruited to the plasma membrane lipid rafts through a phosphoinositol-4,5-bisphosphate binding site where it facilitates MyD88 recruitment to TLR4.

Herbalphytochemicaldrug interactions

Health Benefits Henbane

Some of the best-selling herbal supplements are ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, used for increasing peripheral blood flow and in senile dementia), Asian Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng, used as an 'adaptogen' to help regulate the body's reaction to various stresses), garlic (Allium sativum), used for cardiovascular health including hypercholesterolemia), echinacea (Echinacea purpurea angustifolia), used to support the immune system, especially in the prevention and treatment of colds and influenza), St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), used in the management of mild to moderate depression), and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), used in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (Fig. 6.18). Despite the widespread concurrent use of conventional medicines and herbal supplements, documented herb-drug interactions (HDIs) are still sparse and consist mainly of isolated case reports and laboratory studies. For most potential interactions of herbs and drugs that are reported, the theories are based...

An Infectious Disease and Innate Immunity Model

Recently, the zebrafish was established as a model for infection and immunity (Davis et al. 2002 Menudier et al. 1996 Neely et al. 2002 Phelan et al. 2005b Pressley et al. 2005 Prouty et al. 2003 van der Sar et al. 2003, 2006). The zebrafish is particularly useful because each point in its development can be easily exploited to learn important information about the immune system. During the first four days of development, the zebrafish exhibits no adaptive immunity markers (Traver et al. 2003). Four days post-fertilization, ragl and rag2 expression is noted (Willett et al. 1997), and zebrafish begin to develop the T and B cells necessary to mount adaptive immune responses (Danilova and Steiner 2002 Danilova et al. 2004). It has been shown that, while some adaptive immunity markers are present early in the developing larvae, the zebrafish requires 4-6 weeks to achieve a fully functional adaptive immune response (Lam et al. 2004). With the development of viral and bacterial infection...

Intermediate Processing Bacteria And Spoilage

Table 8.5 Relationship between the bacterial content of fresh Aloe barbadensis gel and its ability to protect the skin immune system from UVB-induced suppression. Table 8.5 Relationship between the bacterial content of fresh Aloe barbadensis gel and its ability to protect the skin immune system from UVB-induced suppression.

Physical Chemical Barriers and Evasion Behavior

Currently, it seems that the innate immune response of nematodes relies on four of these components. Like all metazoans C. elegans is equipped with a panoply of defense mechanisms, both constitutive and inducible. However, an obvious cellular defense response consisting of phagocytosis and or encapsulation of invading microorganisms remains to be demonstrated in the worm. Although the body cavity of the worm is filled with pseudocoelomic fluid that contains coelomocytes, which are candidate macrophages, a role in microorganism engulfment and disposal has not been established. Likewise, C. elegans lacks several characteristics of animal humoral immune systems such as a phenoloxidase pathway. In Drosophila this defense cascade is believed to target Gram-positive bacterial challenges and involves the release of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species.

UBox Arm Proteins Mediate the Hypersensitive Response

Plants also activate cell death during pathogen infection. Cell death is induced during disease-causing pathogen infection (a basal pathogen response), and also during the hypersensitive response (HR), an immune response where localised cell death occurs at the infection site to prevent spread of the pathogen through the plant. Thus, plants are resistant to pathogens that they can mount the HR against. Regulated protein degradation is important for pathogen responses. Studies in several plants have identified U-box Arm genes rapidly induced during pathogen infection, which are essential for the HR and disease resistance. These genes are the tobacco and tomato ACRE276 (for Avr9 Cf-9 rapidly elicited), which is homologous to Arabidopsis AtPUB17 and also tobacco tomato ACRE74 (Arabidopsis counterparts AtPUB20 and AtPUB21, parsley counterpart CMPG1) (Kirsch et al. 2001 Heise et al. 2002 Gonzalez-Lamothe et al. 2006 Yang et al. 2006). Reduction of ACRE276 or ACRE74 function abolishes...

Biologic Effects Of Crude A Barbadensis Extracts On Epithelial Tissues

We began our studies by developing standardized Aloe barbadensis gel materials (Aloe Research Foundation Standard Samples) with uniform chemical and biological properties (Pelley etal, 1993 Waller etal, 1994). The ARF Process 'A' materials used in most experiments with unfractionated aloe represent depulped aloe gel fillets produced under conditions of rigorous sanitation not usual to the industry and lyophilized extremely rapidly, within hours of harvest. ARF materials (Processes B, C, D and E) were also produced approximating to the various processes, pasteurization, filtration, absorption with activated charcoal, treatment with cellulase, and concentration by rising falling thin film evaporation, employed in the industry. The ARF Process A material corresponds to no commercial product in current existence and its production is not economically feasible. These ARF materials were produced at several commercial sites by Todd A. Waller and R.P. Pelley, chemically characterized by RPP...

What Species Echinacea Is Most Medicinal

The lipophilic alkamides and polar phenolic caffeoyl derivatives are considered to be the main pharmacologically active components in Echinacea alcohol extracts in which the polar polysaccharides are at very low level. The polysaccharides exist in expressed Echinacea juice, aqueous extract, and powdered whole herb. However, their levels in most Echinacea preparations and effects on the immune system after oral intake have been disputed (Awang, 1999 Bone, 1997a Borchers et al., 2000).

Non Protein Amino Acids

Canavanine, a structural analogue of arginine is present in many legume crops and affects in particular the immune system, but is also discussed as a chemotherapeutic agent for human pancreas cancer (Lambein et al. 2001). Besides canavanine, mimosine and canaline are tested as anticancer metabolites (Lambein et al. 2001). Other NPAAs, for example glutamine derivates are tested in pharmacology (Brauner-Osborne et al. 1997).

Alovera Medicine Plants Introduction

Limited range of effects on the cells of the immune system. Indeed, the recognized effects of aloe extracts appear primarily to affect innate immune mechanisms such as inflammation, rather than acquired immunity. They also tend to be quantitatively minor in nature. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, they may well account for the 'good press' that aloes have received over the years and for the continuing interest in the use of aloe extracts as immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory agents.

Receptors with Scavenger Like Activity Recognize a Variety of Microbes

A novel receptor, Eater, has been identified and is required for the recognition and uptake of both E. coli and S. aureus in vivo and in S2 cells. RNAi of Eater led to a partial (up to 75 ) decrease in the ability of S2 cells to phagocytose both bacteria. Similar, but less dramatic results were reported in eater null flies. The humoral response was unaffected by the eater mutation, indicating that eater's effects may be specific to the cellular immune response. The predicted protein is a transmembrane receptor with an extracellular domain containing EGF-like repeats followed by a variable N-terminal region. The N-terminus of the Eater protein directly recognizes and binds S. aureus, the yeast Candida silvativa, and the Gramnegative bacterium Serratia marcescens (Kocks et al. 2005). It is likely that Eater acts redundantly or in conjunction with dSR-CI and PGRP-LC to recognize E. coli and S. aureus and initiate phagocytosis. Indeed, the earlier reports characterizing

Nbs Lrr and TIR Domains of Defense

The structural similarity and or domain homology of R proteins to animal immunity proteins, plus the similarity in the overall signaling structure of MTI in both plants and animals (Dangl and Jones 2001 Nurnberger et al. 2004) provoked speculation that the domains of these defense protein might have evolved in an ancient unicellular eukaryote pre-dating the separation of the plant and animal kingdoms and that the occurrence of plant- and animal-specific receptors consisting of these domains could be a result of divergent evolution (Fluhr and Kaplan-Levy 2002 Nurnberger and Brunner 2002). After careful comparative examination of the overall mechanisms of recognition and signaling for animal immunity proteins and plant R proteins, Ausubel (2005) recently proposed that these seemingly analogous regulatory modules used in plant and animal innate immunity evolved independently by convergent evolution and reflect inherent constraints on how an innate immune system can be constructed. In...

Endospore Cuticle Interactions

The nature of the receptor on the nematode cuticle has not as yet been determined, however it is thought to involve some form of carbohydrate - lectin interaction (Davies and Danks 1993). Mucins are a family of polypeptides associated with both the innate and adapted immune systems and can be secreted or membrane bound to form a protective barrier that covers epithelial surfaces (Strous and Dekker 1992 Magalhaes et al. 2010). The surface coat of C. elegans is a thin layer that is secreted onto the cuticle surface known to contain both mucin-like proteins amongst other glycosylated protein secretions (Hemmer et al. 1991 Gems and Maizels 1996). Mucin-like proteins are rich in serine and threonine and are highly glycosalated and it has been suggested that they play a role in immune defence (Hall and Altun 2008). Mucin-like proteins identified in C. elegans appear to have orthologues in Meloidogyne spp. (Davies 2009). RNAi experiments knocking down these mucin-like proteins have been...

Nutritional and Economic Benefits

Soybean is high in protein and is one of the very few plant-based foods to contain all of the essential amino acids. Therapeutically, soybeans lower cholesterol, boost the immune system and, being high in fibre, ease constipation. Soybean is extremely versatile. It contains a high proportion of polyunsaturated

Iron requirements in animals

Iron has been recognized as a required nutrient for animals for more than 100 years (Pond et al., 1995). Still, sub-clinical iron deficiencies occur more frequently than recognized by most livestock producers. Currently, micronutrient deficiency is a bigger problem than macronutrient deficiency, because the farmer does not readily see specific symptoms that are characteristic of a trace mineral deficiency. Instead, the animal grows or reproduces at a reduced rate, uses feed less efficiently and operates with a depressed immune system (Berger, 2000). Both iron deficiency and iron excess can compromise the immune system of farm animals. Hypoferremia is believed to be an important protective component of the acute phase response to infection (Ebersole and Capelli, 2000). It is proposed that the decrease in red blood cells, in the acute phase following infection and inflammatory disease, is a strategy to decrease iron availability to pathogens (Ebersole and Capelli, 2000). On the other...

The transActing siRNA Pathway

As mentioned above, plants transformed with viral-derived sequences show an increased resistance to the virus from which the introduced sequence was derived, and numerous related observations suggest that RNA silencing is a natural antiviral defence mechanism that has evolved to combat or silence the expression of such foreign invading nucleic acids. All organisms from bacteria to humans can be infected by viruses but, unlike most animals, plants do not have an immune system with which to defend themselves. Instead, plants have expanded the number of genes encoding components of the various RNA silencing pathways to develop a powerful defence system of their own (Waterhouse 2006). For example, Arabidop-sis encodes four DCL genes and rice has six, compared to animals that encode only a single Dicer protein. Most plant viruses have single-strand RNA genomes that, upon infection, are transcribed into dsRNA either by a virally encoded RNA polymerase or by the plant-encoded RDR RDR6, as...

The Effects Of Aloe Vera Gel On Wound Healing

In short, Aloe vera gel is a modulator. It acts as both an inhibitor and a stimulator. While it can block mediators of inflammation in the immune system, it also stimulates antibody production and wound healing by growth factor-like substances (Heggers etal, 1993 El Zawahry etal, 1961). The gel factor molecule can stimulate fibroblasts to increase collagen and proteoglycan production, increasing wound tensile strength, while inhibiting inflammation and moderators of pain (Shelton, 1991). Consequently, it may be the localized balance of unique substances that bestows aloe with its healing properties. Listed below and in Table 10.2 is the current knowledge on the components of Aloe vera that are being investigated for their potential wound-healing properties.

Heci Yu and Matti Kaarlas

The activities of Echinacea in modulating the immune system include (1) stimulating in vitro and in vivo phagocytosis (2) cytokine production in macrophages (3) antiviral activity (4) enhancing natural killer cell activity (5) inhibiting hyaluronidase, HIV integrase, prostaglandin, and

Immunomodulatory action

Aloe gel may also directly stimulate the immune system (Womble and Helderman, 1988) through its active ingredient acemannan. This polysaccharide increases lymphocyte response to alloantigen it activates macrophages to produce nitric oxide (Karaca etal, 1995) and cytokines (interleukins 1 and 6, interferon, tumor necrosis factor) it enhances phagocytosis (Shida etal., 1985) and, it increases the number of circulating monocytes and macrophages. Aloe gel also causes a local activation of complement at the level of C3. Recently Qiu etal. (2000) have developed a process to activate and stabilise aloe polysaccharide. Modified aloe polysaccharide (MAP) prevents ultraviolet (UV) irradiation-induced immune suppression as determined by contact hypersensitivity response in mice. MAP also inhibits UV irradiation-induced TNF (tumour necrosis factor) release from human epidermoid carcinoma cells. All these results indicate that MAP can be used to reduce the risk of sunlight-related human skin...

Gastrointestinal Health Oral Mucositis

Immune Function Similar to the cells of the GI system, certain cells of the immune system utilize glutamine preferentially during times of unusual stress. Even at times of relative physiologic normalcy, lymphocytes and macrophages consume glutamine at high rates.8 The intricate relationship between skeletal muscle glutamine stores and plasma levels of this amino acid is thought to influence immune function directly. Muscular overuse can lead to reduced levels of glutamine in the plasma and, thereby, may have a negative effect on lymphocyte function. The glutamine hypothesis'' suggests that, at times when muscular cells are under intense and prolonged physical stress, the demand for glutamine in the muscle itself and in other organs may leave the lymphoid system in a state of relative glutamine scarcity. This is supported by studies that demonstrate a sharp decline in plasma glutamine concentration following long-term physical stress.9 Low plasma levels of glutamine are associated with...

Probiotics Prebiotics and Bifidobacteria

A number of bacteria and yeasts have probiotic activity. However, in commercial applications, bacteria associated with four genera have predominated Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and, to a lesser extent, Enterococcus and Streptococcus. Collectively, these are called lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in the nutrition literature, although Bifidobacterium and the minor commercial genera are not strictly part of the lactic acid group. The following species are utilized in commercial products Bifidobacterium breve, B. bifidus, B. infantis, B. lactis, B. longum, B. thermophilum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. helveticus, L. casei, L. fermentum, L. johnsonii, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, Enterococcus faecium, and Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus (Lee et al., 1999). A number of claims are made for these products, including improvement of the colon microflora balance, stimulation of the immune system, enhanced resistance to bacterial...

Oligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose

Oligosaccharides (raffinose and stachyose) are present in soybean and soy products and constitute about 0.5 and 4.0 of the seed, respectively. Although they are considered undesirable due to their flatus-inducing properties, recent studies have indicated that they also have beneficial effects. They have been reported to stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria in the colon (Tomomatsu, 1994), which provides various health effects. They also inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria (Clostridia perfringens, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria) and enhance bulking of the stool, which dilutes the toxins produced by certain Gram-negative bacteria and eliminate them from the intestines. They convert sugars into lactic and acetic acid and thus reduce the colonic pH, which is beneficial for colonic mucosa. Furthermore, they reduce the risk of colon cancer (Pool-Zobel et al., 2002), modulate the immune system (Bland et al., 2004) and contribute to bone health (Nzeusseu et...

Ultraviolet Light And Skin Cancer Mutation And Immunity

The role of UV radiation in the etiology of human melanoma is less clear. Epidemiologic data on melanomas point to periodic exposure to high doses of UV radiation (sunburn) as a risk factor (Green etal., 1985) but attempts to induce melanomas in mice with UV radiation alone have been singularly unsuccessful (Kripke, 1979 Romerdahl etal., 1989 Kusewitt and Ley, 1996). The induction and development of primary melanomas appears to be a complex, multifactorial process that involves non-UV factors, such as predisposing genes, chemicals in the cutaneous environment and the immune response to a much greater degree than NMSC (Camplejohn, 1996 Chin etal, 1997 Langley and Sober, 1997 Strickland etal, 2000).

Dynamics of FLS2 activation and internalization

FLS2 recognizes a bacterial flagellin peptide fragment (flg22) and triggers defense response (Gomez-Gomez and Boller, 2002). Recent studies by Robatzek et al. (2006) demonstrated that FLS2 is ubiquitously expressed and plasma-membrane localized in the absence of a ligand, but the addition of the ligand, flg22, rapidly induces internalization of FLS2 into endosomes (Fig. 1.2b). Therefore unlike BRI1, which exhibits constitutive endocycles, FLS2 is subjected to a ligand-induced endocytosis (Robatzek et al., 2006). The internalized FLS2 is most likely targeted for destruction to quench the innate immune response (Robatzek et al., 2006). Figure 1.2 (a) Model of BRI1 activation. (Left) In the absence of BR, both BRI1 and BAK1 form homodimers. The BRI1 homodimer is inactive due to autoinhibition of its C-terminus as well as association with the negative regulator, BKI1. Both BRI1 and BAK1 are constitutively recycled into endomembranes. (Right) The BR binding to BRI1 leads to its activation...

Lavender oil and its supposed functions

'Lavender helps balance the mind and emotions' (Westwood, 1991) and has 'immunity' as its key word it is indicated for over-analytical, anxiety, fear of failure, hyperactivity, hysteria, imbalance, immune system, impatience, insecurity, insomnia, irritation, irrationality, mood swings, overwork, panic, paranoia, possessiveness, greed for power, feeling pressurized, lack of relaxation, stage fright, tension, poor time-management, lack of tolerance and tranquillity, workaholic, worry. The physical conditions indicating its use are baldness, immune system, sore throats, stiffness, dermatitis, eczema, itchy or scarred skin and general first aid.

Is there such a thing as immunity to cancer

Recently, Markiewicz and Gajewski (1999) reviewed the history of immune surveillance beginning with the discoveries of the 1960s, through the disappointments of the 1980s and the new hopes of the 1990s. First, immunologists realized that cancers contain tumor specific antigens which are developmental and oncogenic markers. On occasion, tumors contained viral antigens. However, attempts in the 1980s to develop cancer vaccines or to upregulate the immune response with BCG or Interleukin-2 were singularly unsuccessful. These failures led many to doubt the existence of immune surveillance (Stutman, 1974, 1979 Klein and Boon, 1993) but, as experience with immunotherapy of cancer increased, it became clear that human neoplastic disease is much more complex than any mouse model. The evidence for protective immune involvement in cancer is summarized by the reviews cited in Table 12.1 below. To paraphrase Markiewicz and Gajewski, we now know that in humans (i) immunosuppression increases the...

Therapeutic Uses Of Amino Acids

The utility of amino acids in medicine today continues to be explored via clinical research and applications. Amino acids have several roles in the body as the building blocks of protein, amino acids are found throughout the body. Muscle is by far the most protein- and amino acid-rich tissue in the body.1 Health care practitioners are gaining more knowledge about amino acids, including their metabolism in the body, imbalances, and chemical structures. Therapeutic use of amino acids presents natural medicine with an important therapeutic option. Some of the most prominent therapeutic applications of amino acids are for treatment of imbalances of brain metabolism and neurotransmission. Other primary areas in which amino acids are important include gastrointestinal (GI) health, immune function, and cardiovascular health.

Suppression 100 2 X 100

Formula 1 Calculation of suppression of skin immune response. Table 12.4 Crude A. barbadensis ARF Process A gel protects the local cutaneous hypersensitivity immune response from low dose (cumulative 1,600 Joules m ) UV radiation. Table 12.4 Crude A. barbadensis ARF Process A gel protects the local cutaneous hypersensitivity immune response from low dose (cumulative 1,600 Joules m ) UV radiation.

Conclusion And Future Directions

First, our studies have shown that there are multiple mechanisms operating in UVB-induced suppression of the skin immune system. The wider spectrum of purified, structurally-defined therapeutic ligands we are developing is likely to reveal further complexity of a detailed mechanism. Second, we expect that, together with our collaborators at the University of Georgia, we shall further define the complexity of mechanism of this UVB suppression. This will lead us to the discovery of further novel compounds in the same way as our prior work on the mechanism of aloe led to the discovery of the immune-protective activity of the Tamarind saccharides. Third, our mechanistic studies on the respective roles of CHS, DTH and suppressor cells help us to determine which test best correlates with UVB facilitation of tumor growth. This knowledge will set the stage for selection of the best surrogate for use in future clinical investigations of the efficacy of therapeutic saccharides in humans exposed...

The Etiology Of Food Allergies

The GI tract plays a pivotal role in the mucosal immune response. While permitting the absorption of nutrients from the intestinal lumen to the systemic circulation, the GI tract also protects the body against invasion from microbes and other antigens by inducing an immune response. Loss of oral tolerance the decrease or down-regulation of the immune response can result in increased local inflammation in the gut. These inflammatory reactions cause increased intestinal permeability that allows more dietary antigens access to the systemic circulation, which can lead to the development of food allergen reactivity.19 Some scientists say that this dysfunction may be caused by exposure to high doses of antigens, which override the protective mechanisms but other scientists question if this is, indeed, a matter of dysfunction, suggesting instead that the body might normally react to high levels of exposure to antigens. Allergic reactivity to food is the result of both IgE and...

Host Defence Response

Plants recognise potentially pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, and react to their presence by activation of a multi-layered host defence mechanism. Activation of the first layer of the plant immune response depends on recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Perception of PAMPs by the plant activates PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI), which, among other responses, induces rapid ion flux across the membrane, ROS production, changes in gene expression and cell wall reinforcement (Zipfel 2008). Many pathogens have evolved various effector proteins that can interfere with PTI, thereby allowing the infection process to continue. NBS-LRR proteins are key for plant recognition of microbial effector proteins. This recognition is species specific and results in effector-triggered immunity (ETI). ETI usually involves host cell death that is triggered by a hypersensitive response (Jones and Dangl 2006). Chitin is the best studied fungal PAMP. Suppression of...

Example 2 Cannabis sativa hemp

The herb has received much attention recently because of the detection of an endogen cannabionoid system in the human brain and the immune system. The endogen cannabionoid system plays a significant role in memory, appetite, lactation, and emesis. Muscle-relaxant, appetite-stimulating, and analgesic effects of (-) trans-delta 9- tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (Fig. 5.205, Chapter 5), are of great interest. A comparative study of cannabis has shown better antispastic activity than THC, as measured in an immunogenic model of multiple sclerosis. The synergistic effect demonstrated with cannabis extract is probably due to presence of cannabidiol or CBD (Fig. 6.9) in the extract, which elevates the level of THC in the brain and at the same time, attenuates the undesired anxiolytic effect of THC. At the same time CBD amplifies the antispastic effect of THC. Amplification of the antispastic effect is not understood but it is assumed that CBD increases the permeation of THC into the muscles.

Recognition ofPathogen Effectors

TO P syringae pv. maculicolal) and RPS2 (RESISTANT TO P syringae2). During infection, P syringae releases several effectors into plant cells, including AvrRpml, AvrB, and AvrRpt2, which are thought to target a number of host proteins as part of a virulence strategy. AvrRpt2, for example, is a cysteine protease (Coaker et al. 2005) that modifies plant auxin levels to promote virulence and pathogen growth (Chen et al . 2007). Although most virulence targets of these effectors have not been identified, it has been shown that AvrRpml, AvrB, and AvrRpt2 interact with and modify RIN4 either by phosphorylation or cleavage (Mackey et al. 2002 Axtell et al. 2003). Intriguingly, these interactions with RIN4 do not promote virulence and are not required for successful infection (Belkhadir et al. 2004). Instead, RIN4 phosphorylation is monitored by RPM1 and its cleavage is monitored by RPS2, and either event leads to plant resistance (Mackey et al. 2002 Kim et al. 2005). RIN4 physically interacts...

Biochemical Reactions To Stressors

Following normal diurnal patterns for the release of serum cortisol, glucocorticoid levels are at their lowest point at approximately midnight to 1 am. Peak levels occur between 6 am and 8 am. Research has shown that elevation or suppression of daily cortisol levels indicates imbalanced hypothalamus-pituitary-axis (HPA) activity.12 This may be interpreted as hyper-function or hypofunction, depending on a patient's levels of cortisol and his or her clinical presentation. Sustained activation of the sympathetic nervous system marks the compensation stage, also known as the adrenal hyperfunction stage, with a secondary influence on the HPA axis. The pituitary gland responds to the influence of sympathetic nervous system activity by releasing adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). In turn, the adrenal glands respond to the pituitary release of ACTH by producing excess cortisol and androgen hormones. In an attempt to compensate for this faulty hyperfunction, the HPA becomes less sensitive to...

The ubiquitin system and other plant processes

In Arabidopsis the UPS also plays a role in innate immunity. The snc1 npr1-1 double mutant exhibits high levels of salicylic acid (SA) under nonimmune challenging conditions, and as a result displays enhanced resistance toward some pathogens. UBA1, one of the two AtE1 enzymes, was identified in a suppressor screen for proteins that suppress the SA enhancement in snc1 npr1-1 plants, suggesting UPS activity is essential for the innate immune response in plants (Goritschnig et al., 2007). The UPS and CSN are also involved in the Drosophila immune system, specifically in the toll pathway, which regulates the Drosophila homologue of the NF-kB and IkB, Dorsal and Cactus.csn5 mutants show constitutive nuclear localization of Dorsal, and overaccumulation of Cactus (Harari-Steinberg et al., 2007). The Drosophila Skp1 homologue is a negative regulator of the second immune-signaling pathways, IMD (Khush et al, 2002).

Cellular Regulation and Targeting 431 Nuclear Localized Parasitism Proteins

Found in other nematodes, including parasites as well as the free-living C. elegans (Mitreva et al. 2005b) . The role of vaps in promoting parasitism is unclear since vaps of excretory-secretory origin have been demonstrated to stimulate mammalian immune response in animal-parasites (Jasmer et al. 2003) . The seemingly ubiquitous nature of vaps among nematodes, even nonparasites, suggests a function basic to nematode biology that may have (as of yet, unknown) effects on parasitism.

Roles of Rop Gtpases as negative regulators in innate immunity

Several members of ROP proteins have been shown to be negative regulators of immune response. Rice OsRACB OsRAC5 is downregulated in response to infection of M. grisea. Overexpression of OsRACB OsRAC5 enhances susceptibility to a compatible race of M. grisea (Jung et al., 2006). Similarly, silencing of OsRAC4 induces constitutive expression of several PR genes, which results in enhanced resistance to virulent M. grisea (unpublished results). However, how OsRACB OsRAC5 and OsRAC4 negatively regulate immune responses remains to be identified. NtRAC5 is downregulated during elicitation with a fungal elicitor, cryptogein (Morel et al., 2004), and overexpression of NtRAC5 suppresses ROS production. Interestingly, overexpression of NtRAC5 reduces the mRNA and protein levels of NtRBOHD, suggesting that NtRAC5 negatively regulates NtRBOHD at both transcriptional and translational levels (Morel et al., 2004). Thus, ROP GTPase regulates immune responses in positive and negative manners.

Complement in Urochordates

Many components of the mammalian complement system can be traced back to urochordates. In the absence of antibodies, the activation pathway is of the lectin type and consists of mannose-binding lectins (MBLs), mannose associated serine proteases (MASPs), C3, and corresponding CR3 CR4 receptors present on macro-phage-like cells (Kenjo et al. 2001 Sekine et al. 2001 Marino et al. 2002 Endo et al. 2003 for a review, see Fujita 2002). Thus, a lectin-based complement system is present in urochordates and functions in an opsonic manner. Obviously, this system has remained unchanged since its appearance at least 600 myr ago, well ahead of the emergence of adaptive immunity. From an evolutionary point of view, Fujita (2002) proposed that the primitive lectin pathway in innate immunity evolved into the classic pathway to serve as an effector system of adaptive immunity. In conclusion, there is accumulating evidence that early during chordate phylog-eny the components of the complement system,...

Microbial Interactions with Caenorhabditis elegans Lessons from a Model Organism

Abstract In recent years, the study of invertebrate innate immune defense responses has been greatly expanded by the use of the powerful tractable model Caenorhabditis elegans. Because of the accessible mechanisms underpinning its innate immune system, the worm has become into a valuable model for identifying core strategies of microbial pathogenicity and host defense. C. elegans-microbial interaction studies have revealed a conservation of both pathogen virulence factors and metazoan immune repertoires. In C. elegans the signaling pathways involved in orchestrating immune responses are three mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38, JNK and ERK), the unfolded protein response (serine threonine kinase IRE-1 and PQN ABU proteins), the transforming growth factor-b (TGF-b), the insulin-like receptor (DAF-2), the Wnt Wingless b-catenin (BAR-1), and the component of programmed cell death BCL-2 homolog (CED-9). These pathways also serve major developmental, behavioral and metabolic functions.

Immunity in Urochordates

These factors contribute to a self-defense system against invading microorganisms, which can number up to 106 bacteria ml and 109 viruses ml of seawater (Ammerman et al. 1984). The survival of urochordates and all other marine invertebrates in this environment suggests that their innate immune system is effective and robust.

Innate immunity in guard cells

When pathogens such as Pseudomonas syringae (P. syringae, or other plant and human pathogens) attack plant leaves, the stomata close rapidly to prevent their entrance into its interior (Melotto et al., 2006). To assure a successful invasion, P. syringae cells tend to surround the open stomata specifically and evolve specific virulence factors to instigate stomatal reopening, such as coro-natine (COR). The mutant strain of P. syringae that lacks COR fails to initiate disease and reopening of the stomata. Although inoculation of E. coli could also stimulate stomatal closure, it could not make the stomata reopen (Melotto et al, 2006). PAMPs (PATHOGEN-ASSOCIATED MOLECULAR PATTERNs), which are specific bacterial components, such as flg22 and LPS, play a role in triggering stomatal closure (Melotto et al., 2006). Experiments have shown that plants perceive flg22 through the FLS2 receptor. The flg22 peptide fails to induce stomatal closure in the fls2 mutant. Further study shows that...

Engulfed Pathogens are Degraded in Phagolysosomes

In animal cells, pathogens and other extracellular material contained in phagosomes are eventually degraded in a phagolysosome. The process of phagosome maturation is not completely understood, but it is believed that phagosomes acquire proteolytic enzymes and a lower pH through a series of fleeting interactions with endocytic compartments (Desjardins et al. 1994). This process has not been studied in Drosophila, but it seems likely that the fundamental process will resemble that of phagocytosis and endocytosis in mammalian cells. Various studies of host pathogen interactions in Drosophila S2 cells have shown that genes involved in vesicle trafficking and fusion are required for an effective cellular immune response. Transcripts for proteins involved in vesicle formation, including clathrin and members of the COPI complex, have been detected in RNAi studies of cells phagocytosing various types of bacteria (Ramet et al. 2002 Philips et al. 2005 Stroschein-Stevenson et al. 2006). These...

Complement Across Species

In cartilaginous fish, there is quite extensive work on two species of shark, Triakis scyllium and Ginglymostoma cirratum. These appear to have classical and alternative pathways and lytic activities and the lectin pathway is also likely to be present, since a MASP-like protease has been identified (Smith 1998). Jawless fish (agnathans, including hagfish, lamprey) have no immunoglobulin-like proteins and no other features of mammalian adaptive immunity. However, as summarised by Dodds and Matsushita (2007), lampreys have a C3 C4-like TEP, a MASP, a C2 or

How to Detect Approaching Allogeneic Cells as Foreign and to Eliminate Them Allorecognition and Cell Lineage

Such allorecognition systems have long been of interest to geneticists by virtue of the substantial allotypic diversity they display (Cadavid 2004). Immunologists have long maintained that these phenomena lie at the root of vertebrate immunity. Hydractinia allorecognition is therefore of immediate interest in exploring the evolution of the immune system. Hydractinia in fact was among the first invertebrates

Proteins Opsonize Invading Bacteria and Fungi to Promote Phagocytosis

A member of the Ig superfamily of proteins also has a potential role in opsonization (Watson et al. 2005). Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam) contains a transmembrane domain, a signal peptide, and ten Ig domains (Schmucker et al. 2000). A microarray study of Dscam transcripts produced by differential mRNA splicing suggested that Dscam has 18 000 alternate splice forms, with 15 specific to hemocytes. Multiple splice forms of the Ig2, Ig3, and Ig7 domains were detected. While this result indicated that much of the diversity of Dscam splicing may be important for its role in the development of the Drosophila central nervous system, the 15 splice forms of Dscam may be important for recognizing diverse pathogens in the Drosophila immune response. A secreted form of Dscam was detected both in S2 media and larval hemolymph. Additionally, Dscam was shown to bind directly to bacteria, and RNAi in vivo and in vitro against Dscam impaired phagocytosis of E. coli by 30 . As the study...

Lamellocyte Proliferation Necessary for Successful Encapsulation Response

The primary hemocytes involved in encapsulation are plasmatocytes and lamello-cytes. Plasmatocytes comprise much of the early layers of immune cells surrounding parasite eggs, and phagocytose proteins from the wasp long gland that are deposited in the Drosophila hemocoel with the parasitic egg. Lamellocytes are present in the earlier cell layers, and these are the cells that flatten and form the later layers during encapsulation (Russo et al. 1996). Lamellocytes usually make up less than 5 of circulating hemocytes (Rizki and Rizki 1992), but increase in number following wounding and parasitism. This proliferation results from mitosis of lamellocyte precursors in the hematopoietic organ (Sorrentino et al. 2002). Recent studies have shown that lamellocyte proliferation is targeted by parasites. Virulent wasps parasi-toids induced atrophy of hematopoietic organs (Chiu et al. 2001 Moreau et al. 2003), indicating that the proliferation response is likely necessary for a successful immune...

The Complement System in Mammals

Complement is a central component of the innate immune system which is involved in host defence against infectious agents. The complement system in mammals is well characterised (particularly in mice and humans) and consists of about 35-40 proteins, present in blood plasma and other body fluids, and also on cell surfaces. In human blood plasma, the combined concentration of complement proteins is about 3.0-3.5 mg ml, or about 4-5 of the total plasma protein. The function of complement is to recognise and then opsonise or lyse particulate materials including invading micro-organisms and altered-self cells (dying, infected or damaged host cells). Opsonisation of micro-organisms with complement components targets them for phagocytosis by cells expressing complement receptors. In the complement system, large polymeric pattern recognition molecules including C1q, MBL and the ficolins (Fig. 1) have the capability to recognise micro-organisms via their highly conserved surface features (or...

Antimicrobial Peptides from Urochordates

In all organisms, antimicrobial peptides are a major component of the innate immune defense system providing an immediate and rapid response to invading microorganisms (Zasloff 2002). These peptides generally act by forming pores in microbial membranes or otherwise disrupting membrane integrity, which is facilitated by their amphiphilic structure (see Schroder, this volume Antimicrobial peptides as first-line effector molecules of the human innate immune system).

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