Amphibian myelopoiesis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Developmental and comparative immunology






Macrophage-lineage cells are indispensable to immunity and physiology of all vertebrates. Amongst these, amphibians represent a key stage in vertebrate evolution and are facing decimating population declines and extinctions, in large part due to emerging infectious agents. While recent studies indicate that macrophages and related innate immune cells are critically involved during these infections, much remains unknown regarding the ontogeny and functional differentiation of these cell types in amphibians. Accordingly, in this review we coalesce what has been established to date about amphibian blood cell development (hematopoiesis), the development of key amphibian innate immune cells (myelopoiesis) and the differentiation of amphibian macrophage subsets (monopoiesis). We explore the current understanding of designated sites of larval and adult hematopoiesis across distinct amphibian species and consider what mechanisms may lend to these species-specific adaptations. We discern the identified molecular mechanisms governing the functional differentiation of disparate amphibian (chiefly Xenopus laevis) macrophage subsets and describe what is known about the roles of these subsets during amphibian infections with intracellular pathogens. Macrophage lineage cells are at the heart of so many vertebrate physiological processes. Thus, garnering greater understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the ontogeny and functionality of these cells in amphibians will lend to a more comprehensive view of vertebrate evolution.


Biostatistics and Bioinformatics