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Comparative analysis of innate immune response of tropical sea urchins Lytechinus variegatus and Echinometra lucunter caused by global warming

Grant number: 11/15612-6
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2011 - November 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Physiology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:José Roberto Machado Cunha da Silva
Grantee:José Roberto Machado Cunha da Silva
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Marilia Cerqueira Leite Seelaender ; Marinilce Fagundes dos Santos


The evaluation of innate immune response of sea urchins exposed to thermal stress is of great importance once literature demonstrates that the rise of sea temperature, as consequence of global warming, contributes to a larger susceptibility of marine organisms to diseases. In the initial steps of this project, we observed that increase of temperature modulated the innate immune response of sea urchins in different manners depending on the species: S. neumayeri and L. variegatus. A large germicidal capacity was observed in phagocytic amebocytes challenged with yeasts in elevated temperatures (2 and 25ºC for the Antarctic and tropical specie respectively) in the acute trial for both specie. Regarding to phagocytic capacity, an increase for the Antarctic species in 2ºC and a decrease for the tropical species in 30ºC were observed in all periods analyzed. Considering these results we asked: 1- What would be the effect of increase of temperature in the sea urchin Echinometra lucunter, once this species also inhabits Sao Paulo coast? 2- Which cellular mechanisms are involved in the phagocytosis of E lucunter and L. variegates and how these mechanisms would respond to different temperatures? 3- Other mechanisms would be involved in the innate immune response, such as humoral factors? 4- In case of humoral factors are involved, how these ones would respond against global warming? (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BRANCO, PAOLA CRISTINA; SHIMADA BORGES, JOAO CARLOS; SANTOS, MARINILCE FAGUNDES; JENSCH JUNIOR, BERNARD ERNESTO; MACHADO CUNHA DA SILVA, JOSE ROBERTO. The impact of rising sea temperature on innate immune parameters in the tropical subtidal sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus and the intertidal sea urchin Echinometra lucunter. MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, v. 92, p. 95-101, DEC 2013. Web of Science Citations: 13.

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