A number of molecules were found to alter the motility of tunicate hemocytes. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) significantly enhanced cell mobility relative to non-stimulated controls. Responses to LPS were not directional and so represented chemokinesis. In contrast, checkerboard analyses indicated that two tunicate hemolymph proteins, tunIL1-α and -β, stimulated truly directional chemotaxis by hemocytes. The data suggest that tunIL1 proteins may contribute to defense by altering the localization of immunocompetent cells.
- Tunicate; ascidian; chemotaxis; chemoattraction; chemokinesis.