Immunocyte: the invertebrate counterpart of the vertebrate macrophage
Keywords:immunocyte, invertebrates, immune system
The circulating phagocytic immune cell is considered to be the main effector of the invertebrate defense system, involved in both immune and neuroendocrine responses, showing the functional characteristics of vertebrate macrophage. Various names have been used to define this cell in different taxa i.e., hemocyte, celomocyte, amebocyte, plasmatocyte, etc. However, regardless of the terminology, these cells perform the same immune function, and possess very similar morphology. For these reasons, it is suggested that the general term immunocyte be used to describe these cells in invertebrates.