Evolution of immune surveillance and tumor immunity: studies in Xenopus

Authors

  • Jacques Robert,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, USA.
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  • Nicholas Cohen

    1. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, USA.
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  • Acknowledgements
    Research from the authors' laboratory has been supported by NIH grants R37 HD-07901 and RO1 CA-76312 and an award from the University of Rochester, Previous and ongoing collaborations with Dr Louis Du Pasquier of the Basel Institute for Immunology and Drs Pramod K. Srivastava and Antoine Ménoret of the University of Connecticut are gratefully appreciated.

Jacques Robert, Box 672, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester NY 14642, USA, Fax: I 716 473 9573, e-mail: robert@uhura.cc.rochester.edu

Abstract

Summary: We have developed a novel experimental model of cancer immunity in the frog, Xenopus, which may provide a useful alternative to murine tumor models and a way to assess whether the control of tumor development is a fundamental function of the immune system of vertebrates. In Xenoptis, tumor immunity can be studied in two developmentally distinct immune systems. The larval immune system reflects characteristics of an ancestral system that appears to function without classical MHC class I antigen presentation and an efficient effector mechanism. The adult system appears more highly evolved in that it is remarkably similar to that of mammals and is able to generate a potent antitumor response. This amphibian model also provides a unique system with which to investigate a postulated role of heat shock proteins as components of an ancestral system of antigen presentation and/or immune surveillance that predates the antigen presentation pathway that exclusively involves MHC molecules.

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