Hirudo verbana as an alternative model to dissect the relationship between innate immunity and regeneration
Keywords:medicinal leech, innate immunity, regeneration, AIF-1, RNASET2
Given the key role of innate immunity in both defense against pathogens and tissue regeneration, innovative studies are becoming crucial to provide further information on how both processes are linked together and to clarify how immune cells perform the coordinated regulation of the aforementioned processes.
The present review is mainly focused on two proteins that have been recently found to carry out critical functions in innate immune system regulation, i. e. the Allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1) and RNASET2, a protein belonging to the T2 ribonuclease family. Their crucial role in both the activation and modulation of the inflammatory response and in the remodeling of connective tissue during grafts and wound repair have been thoroughly investigated in the medicinal leech and will pave the way for novel therapeutic approaches to control immune and systemic responses to disease, injury, and bacterial infection, based on the functionalities of these biomolecules.