Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
DEV COMP IMMUNOL
Journal title long:
Developmental and comparative immunology : an international journal on immunological diversification
Although many properties of the innate immune system are shared among multicellular animals, the evolutionary origin remains poorly understood. Here we characterize the innate immune system in Hydra, one of the simplest multicellular animals known. In the complete absence of both protective mechanical barriers and mobile phagocytes, Hydra''s epithelium is remarkably well equipped with potent antimicrobial peptides to prevent pathogen infection. Induction of antimicrobial peptide production is mediated by the interaction of a leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) domain containing protein with a TIR-domain containing protein lacking LRRs. Conventional Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are absent in the Hydra genome. Our findings support the hypothesis that the epithelium represents the ancient system of host defence.