Earthworms possess specific, adaptive, cellular immunodefense as well as non-specific responses found in other complex metazoans. Here we characterized coelomocytes from the earthworm Eisenia foetida by electron microscopy and cytofluorimetric analyses, and investigated structural changes that occur when effector coelomocytes and target K562 erythromyeloid human tumor cells interact during cytotoxic activity. In in vitro cultures 1) the two earthworm cell types (i.e. small and large coclomocytes) retained their morphological features; 2) their DNA content was significantly less than that of human lymphocytes and the erythromyeloid human tumor cell line K562; 3) significant percentages of coelomocytes were found to be in S or G2/M phases of the cell cycle. When cultivated alone for up to 3 h, coelomocytes formed no aggregates. However, when mixed with K562, coelomocytes spontaneously killed tumor cells, and cytotoxic reactivity was accompanied by the formation of multiple aggregates similar to granulomas. These results are the first to describe this type of earthworm non-specific 'inflammatory' response in vitro against tumor cells.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||European Journal of Cell Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
- Cell cycle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology