The Octopus White Body: An Ultrastructural Survey

  • Ronald R. Cowden
  • Sherill K. Curtis


While much has been written about immunity in molluscs, the only serious attempts at studying immune competence have produced conflicting results. Tripp (1963) and others have demonstrated repeatedly that oysters do not clear microorganisms at any greater rate or efficiency after secondary or subsequent exposures. Similarly Cheng (1969) was unable to show the presence of new proteins or shifts in amounts of hemolymph proteins in snails injected with bacteria. Still other evidence from multiple sources covering three taxonomic classes indicates that molluscs are able to produce vigorous and effective defenses against potential pathogenic organisms or foreign substances. However, only one line of evidence, reviewed by Cheng and Rifkin (1970), suggests that this is some form of cellular immunity. This is directly related to the acceptance of appropriate helminth larval forms by amolluscan intermediate host and the vigorous tissue rejection mechanism that develops when inappropriate ones are introduced. Cheng and Galloway (1970) found tissue rejection reactions in gastropods; the response to xenogeneic transplants is similar in principle to encapsulation and destruction of “foreign” larval forms. lt seems certain that representatives of all molluscan classes have some capacity to reject or isolate “foreign” material like the gastropods, a capacity not studied extensively in cephalopods.


Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum Golgi Complex Transitional Form Line Scale Shaped Inclusion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald R. Cowden
    • 1
  • Sherill K. Curtis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyAlbany Medical CollegeAlbanyUSA

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