Biology 103, Week of February 11, 2014
Immunology Review Questions:
Recall: The Rh factor is a glycoprotein on the membrane of red blood cells.
1. A pregnant woman has Rh-/Rh-, and the father is Rh+/Rh+. Given that Rh+ is dominant, what is
the phenotype of the baby?
An Rh+ father and an Rh- mother can have an Rh+ baby.
2. At birth, it is possible that some of the baby’s blood can mix with the mother’s blood. Her
physician suggests that she be injected with some anti-Rh+ antibodies just before birth. Why?
The blood of the fetus and the mother are kept separate, no worries with the first pregnancy. In the
second pregnancy, anti-Rh antibodies can cross placenta (passive immunity), and mark red blood cells in
fetus for destruction. At birth, miscarriage, or abortion, Rh+ blood cells can enter the mother’s
circulation. When her immune system detects these as a foreign antigen, an immune response occurs.
Reducing the number of erythrocytes can result in severe anemia (for fetus) and cause death.
Insects – nonspecific immunity, but still effective
Hemolymph (Fluid similar to blood in invertebrates) is made up of:
90% plasma consisting of:
o Amino acids
o Proteins (Hemoglobin is not in cells, only carried in protein)
10% haemocytes (cells) - ~70 thousand/mm , but less than 5 million RBCs and 7 thousand WBCs
in the human body
*Oxygen is carried by tracheal system, rarely by proteins in Hemolymph
1. Inject a fruit fly with bacteria in order to immobilize haemocytes capable of phagocytosis
2. Inject again, in increased volumes (not necessarily the same bacteria), they are immune to it
The insects become immune to foreign bacteria because they have NON specific immunity, and are able
to adapt to several bacteria if exposed to one Blood clotting in insects:
1. The cut adheres together, called a “soft clot”
2. An enzyme is responsible for making melanin, a dark pigment
3. The soft clot becomes a harder, mature clot with a dark pigment (melanin) which seals it off
4. If there is bacteria, it will induce the fragments; enzyme will increase activity in order to
produce more melanin, and more pigment is laid down
Encapsulation (unique to insects):
1. Wasp egg is laid inside larvae, which they would like to phagocytose, bit it is too big.
2. Encapsulation occurs. Egg is surrounded by melanin cells; cells close to the surface become
3. The egg becomes completely covered, and it essentially dies of suffocation; some outer
haemocytes can escape
Wasps have responded to this immunity; a symbiotic virus will now come with the egg and
prevent haemocytes from performing encapsulation; egg is able to develop
Hatched wasp will then eat larvae from the inside out
“Kissing bugs” or “Rhodnius”
Known to come down from ceilings, and they bite your lips
In their feces, there is trypanosomes which can cause Chargas disease, which is important in the
research history of hormones
When a nymph/instar larvae has a blood meal, 28 days later, insect molts into an adult – MUST
have blood meal in order to do this Experiments by Sir Vincent Wigglesworth:
Took a nymph, allowed it to have a blood meal, a day later he took its head off.
Months later, noting happened; still a headless nymph
Took a nymph, gave it a blood meal, 8 days later he took its head off
20 days later, he had an adult nymph with no head
Took a nymph, gave it a blood meal, one day later he took its head off
Took adult headless nymph from experiment 2 and glued it together with the headless nymph
and 20 days later, they had molted together (2 adult headless bodies with no head)
1. Amines – derived from tyrosine or tryptophan; water soluble (examples: dopamine, melatonin)
2. Peptide – water soluble; (examples: prolactin, proteins, glycoproteins)
3. Steroids – derived from cholesterol; lipid soluble (examples: estrogen, ecdysone)
4. Others – examples: juvenile hormone- can have receptors in cytoplasm or on outside of cell;
prostaglandins – derived from lipids, too large to cross membranes, therefore receptors o