Tunicate cytokine-like molecules and their involvement in host defense responses

D. Raftos*, S. Nair

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Tunicates (ascidians or sea squirts) are a large group of invertebrate chordates that are closely related to vertebrates. Their critical phylogenetic position has stimulated substantial interest in their host defense ("immune") responses. Whilst this interest has generated a wealth of knowledge regarding the humoral and cellular mechanisms that undertake defensive responses, there is less known about the regulation of those reactions. This chapter focuses on three cellular responses (cell proliferation, phagocytosis and chemotaxis) that are known to be regulated by cytophilic humoral molecules. Some of the humoral factors that affect these responses have functional and physicochemical similarities to vertebrate cytokines, like interleukin-1. However, the only regulatory molecules that have been characterized at a molecular level bear far greater similarity to C-type lectins or complement components.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInvertebrate cytokines and the phylogeny of immunity
    Subtitle of host publicationfacts and paradoxes
    EditorsAlain Beschin, Werner E. G. Müller
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9783642186707
    ISBN (Print)9783642622366
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Publication series

    NameProgress in molecular and subcellular biology
    ISSN (Print)0079-6484


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