CETI scientists detail progressive organization of immune efficiency in lungfish


Posted: Apr 26, 2016 - 03:28pm

Irene salinas in lab

Defense systems against pathogens are a critical life-support system of fish that helps protect against infection. A complex network of immune cells and molecules that are located at the interface between the environment and the host, the mucosal immune system of vertebrates, such as fish, is the first line of defense against life-threatening pathogens.

Among vertebrates, fish are renown for being chief producers of massive amounts of mucus that protect every part of their body against infection. Vertebrate’s immune systems in fish are constantly evolving in order to best protect each species against the pathogens they are likely to encounter in their various environments.

One of the most remarkable innovations of the vertebrate adaptive immune system is the progressive organization of the lymphoid tissues that reaches the highest level of complexity in birds and mammals. Examples include our tonsils and lymph nodes, where increased efficiency of immune surveillance and cell interactions occurs which, in turn, aids in the elimination of bacteria or viruses.

Read full story at UNM News.