Interactions of Cnidarian Toxins with the Immune System

Author(s): Dusan Suput

Journal Name: Inflammation & Allergy - Drug Targets (Discontinued)
(Formerly Current Drug Targets - Inflammation & Allergy)

Volume 10 , Issue 5 , 2011


Cnidarians comprise four classes of toxic marine animals: Anthozoa, Cubozoa, Scyphozoa and Hydrozoa. They are the largest and probably the oldest phylum of toxic marine animals. Any contact with a cnidarian, especially the box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), can be fatal, but most cnidarians do not possess sufficiently strong venomous apparatus to penetrate the human skin, whereas others rarely come into contact with human beings. Only a small, almost negligible percentage of the vast wealth of cnidarian toxins has been studied in detail. Many polypeptide cnidarian toxins are immunogenic, and cross-reactivity between several jellyfish venoms has been reported. Cnidarians also possess components of innate immunity, and some of those components have been preserved in evolution. On the other hand, cnidarian toxins have already been used for the design of immunotoxins to treat cancer, whereas other cnidarian toxins can modulate the immune system in mammals, including man. This review will focus on a short overview of cnidarian toxins, on the innate immunity of cnidarians, and on the mode of action of cnidarian toxins which can modulate the immune system in mammals. Emphasis is palced on those toxins which block voltage activated potassium channels in the cells of the immune system

Keywords: Cnidaria, coral, hydra, immunosupressant, immunotoxin, jelly fish, octocorals, terpenoids, Chironex fleckeri, potassium channels

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Article Details

Year: 2011
Page: [429 - 437]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/187152811797200678
Price: $58

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