This volume discusses recent advances in research regarding the evolution of specific and nonspecific defense responses in a taxonomically diverse array of species. Topics regarding invertebrates include the protective mechanisms (cellular and molecular) employed by insects, the protective roles of lectins, and the self-nonself discrimination revealed by tissue incompatibility reactions. With vertebrates, the evolution of the immunoglobulin-related superfamily of recognition molecules (including immunoglobulins and the major histocompatibility complex molecules) is examined over several chapters. Other topics reviewed include the evolution of nonimmunoglobulin mediators of defense (e.g., cytokines and eicosanoids), lymphocyte subpopulations (including effects of ambient temperature on function) and the phylogenetic emergence of natural killer cells. Phylogenesis of Immune Functions provides invaluable information for evolutionary biologists, as well as all immunologists and other researchers interested in discovering how inhabitants in our increasingly threatened biosphere protect themselves against environmental pathogens and toxins.
On Immunity and Its Phylogenesis. Adaptive Immune Responses in Insects. Insect Antibacterial Proteins. The Prophenoloxidase System and Its Role in Arthropod Immunity. The Multiple Biological Roles of Invertebrate Lectins: Their Participation in Non-Self Recognition Mechanisms. Historecognition in the Cnidaria. Biological Individuality and Disease: New Perspectives on Immunoevolution. The MHC Molecules of Ectothermic Vertebrates. The Major Histocompatibility Complex of the Chicken. Evolutionary Origins of Immunoglobulin Genes. Evolution of Lymphocyte Subpopulations, Their Interactions and Temperature Sensitivities. Phylogeny of Cytotoxic Cells. The Phylogenetic Conservation of Cytokines. Eicosanoids: Aspects of Their Structure, Function, and Evolution. Mechanisms of Molecular Evolution in the Immunoglobulin Superfamily.