• M. G. Hanna
  • E. L. Cooper


One significant milestone in the history of immunology was the discovery of phagocytosis by Metchnikoff. A Russian zoologist, Metchnikoff arrived at the Pasteur Institute during the latter half of the 19th century. Prior to his arrival in France, he had observed that starfish larvae (Phylum Echinodermata) are transparent, a condition which allowed easy viewing of their mobile amoeboid cells. After sticking thorns into these larvae, he discovered on the next day, that the thorns had been surrounded by amoeboid cells. Later, he studied this same phenomenon in Daphnia (Phylum Arthropoda), this time using the destruction of the yeast Monospora bicuspidata, a pathogen for the water flea. These discoveries culminated in his theory of phagocytosis, which has persisted as an antecedent of modern cellular immunology. Furthermore, of equal importance, much of invertebrate immunology today, reviewed in this volume, traces its history from these observations.


Chronic Granulomatous Disease Blue Crab Coelomic Cavity Amoeboid Cell Clonal Selection Theory 
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  1. Hickman, C. P., 1967, Biology of the Invertebrates, C. V. Mosby Company, St. Louis.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. G. Hanna
    • 1
  • E. L. Cooper
    • 2
  1. 1.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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