Document Detail

The occurrence of chitin in the hemocytes of invertebrates.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21723107     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The light-organ symbiosis of Euprymna scolopes, the Hawaiian bobtail squid, is a useful model for the study of animal-microbe interactions. Recent analyses have demonstrated that chitin breakdown products play a role in communication between E. scolopes and its bacterial symbiont Vibrio fischeri. In this study, we sought to determine the source of chitin in the symbiotic organ. We used a commercially available chitin-binding protein (CBP) conjugated to fluorescein to label the polymeric chitin in host tissues. Confocal microscopy revealed that the only cells in contact with the symbionts that labeled with the probe were the macrophage-like hemocytes, which traffic into the light-organ crypts where the bacteria reside. Labeling of extracted hemocytes by CBP was markedly decreased following treatment with purified chitinase, providing further evidence that the labeled molecule is polymeric chitin. Further, CBP-positive areas co-localized with both a halide peroxidase antibody and Lysotracker, a lysosomal marker, suggesting that the chitin-like biomolecule occurs in the lysosome or acidic vacuoles. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of hemocytes revealed mRNA coding for a chitin synthase, suggesting that the hemocytes synthesize chitin de novo. Finally, upon surveying blood cells from other invertebrate species, we observed CBP-positive regions in all granular blood cells examined, suggesting that this feature is a shared character among the invertebrates; the vertebrate blood cells that we sampled did not label with CBP. Although the function of the chitin-like material remains undetermined, its presence and subcellular location in invertebrate hemocytes suggests a conserved role for this polysaccharide in the immune system of diverse animals.
Elizabeth A C Heath-Heckman; Margaret J McFall-Ngai
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2011-07-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Zoology (Jena, Germany)     Volume:  114     ISSN:  1873-2720     ISO Abbreviation:  Zoology (Jena)     Publication Date:  2011 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-08-15     Completed Date:  2011-11-23     Revised Date:  2014-09-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9435608     Medline TA:  Zoology (Jena)     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  191-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Chitin / biosynthesis*
Chitin Synthase / metabolism
Decapodiformes / chemistry*
Hemocytes / chemistry*
RNA, Messenger / metabolism
Grant Support
R01 AI050661/AI/NIAID NIH HHS; R01 AI050661-10/AI/NIAID NIH HHS; R01 RR012294/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; R01 RR012294-16/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; R01-12294//PHS HHS; R01-AI50661/AI/NIAID NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/RNA, Messenger; 1398-61-4/Chitin; EC Synthase

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