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Dev Growth Differ 2002 Dec 01;446:477-88. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-169x.2002.00660.x.
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Larval antigen molecules recognized by adult immune cells of inbred Xenopus laevis: partial characterization and implication in metamorphosis.

Izutsu Y , Tochinai S , Maéno M , Iwabuchi K , Onoé K .

It has been shown that larval skin (LS) grafts are rejected by an inbred strain of adult Xenopus, which suggests a mechanism of metamorphosis by which larval cells are recognized and attacked by the newly differentiating immune system, including T lymphocytes. In an attempt to define the larval antigenic molecules that are targeted by the adult immune system, anti-LS antibodies (IgY) were produced by immunizing adult frogs with syngeneic LS grafts. The antigen molecules that reacted specifically with this anti-LS antiserum were localized only in the larval epidermal cells. Of 53 and 59-60 kDa acidic proteins that were reactive with anti-LS antibodies, a protein of 59 kDa and with an isoelectric point of 4.5 was selected for determination of a 19 amino acid sequence (larval peptide). The rat antiserum raised against this peptide was specifically reactive with the 59 kDa molecules of LS lysates. Immunofluorescence studies using these antisera revealed that the larval-specific molecules were localized in both the tail and trunk epidermis of premetamorphic larvae, but were reduced in the trunk regions during metamorphosis, and at the climax stage of metamorphosis were detected only in the regressing tail epidermis. Culture of splenocytes from LS-immunized adult frogs in the presence of larval peptide induced augmented proliferative responses. Cultures of larval tail pieces in T cell-enriched splenocytes from normal frogs or in natural killer (NK)-cell-enriched splenocytes from early thymectomized frogs both resulted in significant destruction of tail pieces. Tissue destruction in the latter was enhanced when anti-LS antiserum was added to the culture. These results indicate that degeneration of tail tissues during metamorphosis is induced by a mechanism such that the larval-specific antigen molecules expressed in the tail epidermis are recognized as foreign by the newly developing adult immune system, and destroyed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and/or NK cells.

PubMed ID: 12492506
Article link: Dev Growth Differ

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: actl6a ighx myh6 ouro1 tnfrsf10b
Antibodies: IgY Ab1 Krt2l Ab1

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