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Keywords:

  • Mytilus galloprovincialis;
  • Immunocytes;
  • Yessotoxin;
  • Cell motility;
  • Signalling pathways;
  • Calcium;
  • cAMP

Abstract

Using computer-assisted microscopic image analysis, we have found that algal yessotoxin (YTX) affects the immune response of Mytilus galloprovincialis. Indeed, YTX increases immunocyte cell motility through the involvement of both extracellular Ca2+and cAMP, but not through protein kinase A, protein kinase C or phosphoinositide 3-kinase. Alone, however, the toxin does not induce any effect, as its action on cell motility is observed only after addition of the chemotactic substance N-formyl-Meth-Leu-Phe (fMLP). fMLP is known to induce cellular changes via both the phosphatidylinositol and cAMP pathways and, from this scenario, we can surmise that Ca2+and cAMP concentrations rise sufficiently in fMLP-activated immunocytes to reveal YTX action. One possible explanation is that the toxin increases fMLP-mediated cell activation by intervening in L-type Ca2+-channel opening through a cAMP-dependent/PKA-independent pathway.