For citation purposes: Branco PC, Figueiredo DAL, da Silva JRMC. New insights into innate immune system of sea urchin: coelomocytes as biosensors for environmental stress. OA Biology 2014 Jan 18;2(1):2.

Critical review

 
Comparative

New insights into innate immune system of sea urchin: coelomocytes as biosensors for environmental stress.

P Branco, DAL Figueiredo, JRMC da Silva,
 

Authors affiliations

(1) University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

(2) Marine Biology Center of University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

* Corresponding author Email: pbranco@usp.br

Abstract

Introduction

In the last decade several studies reinforced the use of sea urchin as a model for immunological purposes due to their phylogenetic proximity to chordates and also due to the diverse immune genes common to vertebrates. Since the year of 2000, the use of sea urchin as bioindicators for environmental stress has been suggested, especially regarding the use of their immune cells, also referred to as coelomocytes. In this critical review, we provide a brief but consistent review covering the most studied topics of the innate immune system of sea urchin emphasizing the use of coelomocytes as biosensors for environmental disorders.

Conclusion

The use of coelomocytes as biomarkers is a very useful and sensitive tool to evaluate marine environmental stress. However the mechanisms by which these conditions lead to an upregulation of coelomocytes, either increasing its number or increasing the proteins or genes expressed by them, are poorly understood. We reinforce that further studies aiming to answer these questions are necessary.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2014. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
Keywords