eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 44
Review paper

Melanomacrophages and melanomacrophage centres in Osteichthyes

Michał P. Stosik
Beata Tokarz-Deptuła
Wiesław Deptuła

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2019; 44 (2): 201-205)
Online publish date: 2019/07/30
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Melanomacrophages (MMs) are phagocytizing cells with high amounts of pigments including melanin which can be found in a number of cold-blooded species. In Osteichthyes, these cells cluster to form so-called melanomacrophage centres (MMCs), which are predominantly present in the stroma of hematopoietic and lymphoid tissues, that is, in the kidney and spleen. The functionality of MMs and MMCs results from their involvement and role in the defence reactions, related to both the innate and the adaptive immune mechanisms, and in processes unrelated to defence functions as well. There is evidence that MMCs are structurally and functionally similar to mammals’ germinal centres (GCs). It appears that mature IgM+ B cells in Osteichthyes can be the equivalent of mIgM+ centrocytes in mammals, whereas MMs can be, in terms of the function, the equivalent of follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), and MMCs can be, in terms of clustered specific cells, the equivalent of GCs. This paper presents selected facts about the structural and functional similarity between GCs and MMCs and about the involvement and role of MMCs and MMs in the immune response. The facts help get a proper picture of the location of MMs and MMCs within the structure of the fish immune system, also in the context of their evolutionary relationship with GCs and of the possibility of pointing out the evolutionary closeness between MMCs in Osteichthyes and GCs in mammals.

fish, immune response, melanomacrophages, melanomacrophage centres

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