Invertebrate and Vertebrate Immune Cells Express Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA

E. Ottaviani, T. Capriglione, C. Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show here that hemocytes and leukocytes with phagocytic activity from both invertebrates (Planorbarius corneus, Viviparus ater) and vertebrates (Carassius auratus, Rana esculenta) express pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA, as assessed by in situ hybridization with a digoxigenin-labeled human DNA probe. These data are in accord with previous observations from our laboratories on the presence in these cells of POMC-derived peptides and strongly suggest that these molecules-highly conserved throughout evolution-play an important role in cell locomotion and phagocytosis. POMC mRNA was also detected in lymphocytes of R. esculenta, but not of C. auratus, suggesting that from anuran amphibians onwards lymphocytes also express this gene. This phenomenon could be related to the appearance of more than one immunoglobulin isotype in anurans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Immunology


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