Daniela Melillo

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Deuterostome invertebrates possess complement genes, and in limited instances complement-mediated functions have been reported in these organisms. However, the organization of the complement pathway(s), as well as the functions exerted by the cloned gene products, are largely unknown. To address the issue of the presence of an inflammatory pathway in(More)
It is now widely understood that all animals engage in complex interactions with bacteria (or microbes) throughout their various life stages. This ancient exchange can involve cooperation and has resulted in a wide range of evolved host-microbial interdependencies, including those observed in the gut. Ciona intestinalis, a filter-feeding basal chordate and(More)
Cephalopods have been utilised in neuroscience research for more than 100 years particularly because of their phenotypic plasticity, complex and centralised nervous system, tractability for studies of learning and cellular mechanisms of memory (e.g. long-term potentiation) and anatomical features facilitating physiological studies (e.g. squid giant axon and(More)
This paper is the result of an international initiative and is a first attempt to develop guidelines for the care and welfare of cephalopods (i.e. nautilus, cuttlefish, squid and octopus) following the inclusion of this Class of ∼700 known living invertebrate species in Directive 2010/63/EU. It aims to provide information for investigators, animal care(More)
In mammals, the bioactive fragment C3a, released from C3 during complement activation, is a potent mediator of inflammatory reactions and exerts its functional activity through the specific binding to cell surface G protein-coupled seven-transmembrane receptors. Recently, we demonstrated a Ciona intestinalis C3a (CiC3a)-mediated chemotaxis of hemocytes in(More)
A number of different classes of molecules function as structural matrices for effecting innate and adaptive immunity. The most extensively characterized mediators of adaptive immunity are the immunoglobulins and T-cell antigen receptors found in jawed vertebrates. In both classes of molecules, unique receptor specificity is effected through somatic(More)
In the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, the ciliated pharynx, which connects the external environment to a highly developed and compartmentalized gastrointestinal system, represents the natural portal of entry for a vast and diverse, potentially pathogenic microbial community. To address the role of the pharynx in immune surveillance in Ciona, we asked whether(More)
Complex symbiotic interactions at the surface of host epithelia govern most encounters between host and microbe. The epithelium of the gut is a physiologically ancient structure that is comprised of a single layer of cells and is thought to possess fully developed immunological capabilities. Ciona intestinalis (sea squirt), which is a descendant of the last(More)
Ammonium uptake into the cell is known to be mediated by ammonium transport (Amt) proteins, which are present in all domains of life. The physiological role of Amt proteins remains elusive; indeed, loss-of-function experiments suggested that Amt proteins do not play an essential role in bacteria, yeast, and plants. Here we show that the reverse holds true(More)