Xenogeneic rejection among three botryllids (compound Ascidians)

Zoolog Sci. 2003 May;20(5):581-9. doi: 10.2108/zsj.20.581.


Xenogeneic rejection was observed among colonies of three botryllids, Botryllus scalaris, Botryllus primigenus, and Botrylloides simodensis. Allogeneic recognition occurs in each of these species, but the manner of allogeneic rejection differs among them. We studied xenogeneic rejection reactions among these species under the following conditions: colony contact at natural growing edges, colony contact at artificially cut surfaces, and injection of xenogeneic blood plasma into a vascular vessel. In the first two cases, xenogeneic rejection occurred only in Botryllus primigenus and Botrylloides simodensis. The features of that xenogeneic rejection were similar to those of allogeneic rejection in each of these two botryllids. Injection of xenogeneic blood plasma induced responses similar to those of allogeneic rejection in all three botryllids. It is interesting to note that colonies of Botryllus scalaris never showed any response against injected blood plasma from allogeneic incompatible colonies, unlike the responses seen in colonies of the other two botryllids under the same conditions. On the basis of these results, the relationship between allogeneic and xenogeneic rejection in botryllids is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Hemocytes / immunology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Transplantation Immunology
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / immunology*
  • Urochordata / classification
  • Urochordata / immunology*