Demonstration of β-glucan receptors in the skin of aquatic mammals - A preliminary report

Wilfried Meyer*, Jennifer Elisabeth Kloepper, Lutz Günther Fleischer

*Corresponding author for this work
8 Citations (Scopus)


Using immunohistochemistry, the study clearly demonstrates three important β-glucan receptors (Ficolin/P35, MBL, Dectin-1; members of the lectin-complement pathway of innate immunity) in the integument of six marine and freshwater aquatic mammals (Northern fur seal, Common seal, Walrus, Coypu, Capybara, Otter), but only weakly in two dolphin species. Most of the non-dolphin mammals exhibited strong reactions, especially with regard to the skin glands (tubular apocrine glands, sebaceous glands), for L-Ficolin/P35 and MBL. Distinct reaction staining could also be observed in the epidermis and the outer epithelial sheath of primary hair follicles. Positive Dectin-1 staining was limited to secretory cells of the apocrine tubular glands, and to peripheral and central cells of sebaceous glands of the seals. The Capybara was the only animal to show a clear Dectin reaction in the epidermis (stratum granulosum). The findings are discussed with regard to the constant and high microbial challenge of the skin in the aquatic medium, and variations in hair density of the animals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)479-486
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 08.2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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