Although true adaptive immunity is only found in vertebrates, there is increasing evidence that shrimp and other arthropods exhibit immune specificity and immune memory. The invertebrate immune response is now called "innate immunity with specificity" or "immune priming", and its underlying mechanisms are still unclear. However, while vertebrate antibodies have no invertebrate homolog, the Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam), which is a hypervariable protein created by alternative splicing, can function as a pathogen-specific recognizing molecule in arthropods. Here we review our current understanding of the Dscam-mediated immune responses in arthropods, especially in shrimp, and show that Dscam may be involved in both general innate immunity and the pathogen-specific immune response.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology