Response of Earthworm Leukocytes to Concanavalin a and Transplantation Antigens
There are several reasons to believe that rejection of both allogenic and xenogenic tissues by earthworms is due to an active immune response: a second graft from a same donor to a same receptor is more actively rejected (1); graft immunity can be transfered by coelomic cells from a sensitized animal to a non sensitized one (2). Coelomic cells, which are the free cells of the coelomic cavity, mainly consist in leukocyte-like cells. The leukocytes undoubtly play a prominent role in graft rejection in earthworms: it seems that they recognize the immunogenic stimulus and then proliferate and differentiate into cells that attack the grafted tissues (3). In vertebrates, specific recognition is achieved by a special group of leukocytes, the lymphocytes (4), that generally proliferate after antigenic stimulation. The leukocytes can also exibit an increase of DNA synthesis after a wound. But, in vertebrates, stimulated cells involved in inflammation are different from lymphocytes. In order to check whether graft reaction in earthworms was different from inflammatory process, we have compared the leukocyte stimulation induced by wound with that occuring after graft. The quantitative aspects of the stimulation have been investigated as well as the nature of the stimulated cells.
KeywordsTritiated Thymidine Coelomic Cavity Active Immune Response Graft Reaction Xenogenic Tissue
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