This study identifies three discrete processes responsible for the rejection of tunic tissue transplanted between individuals of the solitary ascidian Styela plicata. The first stage of rejection is characterized by the destruction of blood vascular components within incompatible allografts. In the second phase, dense boundaries of extracellular material are deposited between grafts and the surrounding host tunic, effectively amputating the transplanted tissues. Finally, detached transplants undergo a gradual necrosis which results in the total degeneration of extracellular graft matrices. Of these three phases, the initial cellular depletion of allografts is responsible for the immunological specificity that is characteristic of histocompatibility in S. plicata. The subsequent amputation and necrosis of extracellular graft matrices are taken to be non-specific consequences of the initial cellular reactivity.
- Graft rejection
- Styela plicata (Tunicata)