Anticipating innate immunity without a Toll

P. Engelmann, E. L. Cooper, P. Németh

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

32 Citations (Scopus)


Earthworm innate immunity depends upon small and large leukocytes (coelomocytes) that synthesize and secrete humoral antimicrobial molecules (e.g. lysenin, fetidin, eiseniapore, coelomic cytolytic factor [CCF]; Lumbricin I). Small coelomocytes (cytotoxic) are positive (CD11a, CD45RA, CD45RO, CDw49b, CD54, β2-m and Thy-1 [CD90]; CD24; TNF-α) but negative using other mammalian markers. Large coelomocytes (phagocytic) are uniformly negative. Specific earthworm anti-EFCC 1, 2, 3, 4 mAbs are negative for Drosophila melanogaster hemocytes and mammalian cells but positive those of earthworms. Coelomocytes contain several lysosomal enzymes involved in phagocytosis and a pattern recognition molecule (CCF) that may trigger the prophenoloxidase cascade a crucial innate immune response. Earthworms and other invertebrates possess natural, non-specific, non-clonal, and non-anticipatory immune response governed by germ line genes. Toll and Toll-like receptor signaling is essential for phagocytosis and antimicrobial peptide synthesis and secretion in insects and vertebrates but has not yet been shown to be essential in earthworm innate responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-942
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - May 2005



  • Coelomocytes
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Encapsulation
  • Innate immunity
  • Invertebrate
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Phagocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology

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