Immunity in Caenorhabditis elegans

Curr Opin Immunol. 2004 Feb;16(1):4-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2003.11.005.


Until very recently it was not known whether the invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans was capable of mounting a specific immune response to protect itself from pathogens. It has only just become clear that this simple nematode in fact possesses a complex innate immune system, involving multiple signalling pathways and an armoury of antimicrobial proteins and peptides. Genetic and microarray approaches are now revealing the molecular cross-talk that exists between the different signalling cascades.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / immunology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / physiology
  • Receptor, Insulin / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • DAF-2 protein, C elegans
  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases