Alternative adaptive immunity in invertebrates
Kurtz J, Armitage SAO – 2006
Vertebrate adaptive immunity is characterized by challenge-specific long-term protection. This specific memory is achieved through the vast diversity of somatically rearranged immunological receptors such as antibodies. Whether or not invertebrates are capable of a comparable phenotypic plasticity and memory has long been a matter of debate. A recent study on Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes now establishes Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam) as a key immune surveillance factor with characteristics analogous to antibodies.