Earthworms and leeches are sentinel animals that represent the annelid phylum within terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, respectively. One early stress signal in these organisms is related to innate immunity, but how nanomaterials affect it is poorly characterized. In this survey, we compare the latest literature on earthworm and leeches with examples of their molecular/cellular responses to inorganic (silver nanoparticles) and organic (carbon nanotubes) nanomaterials. A special focus is placed on the role of annelid immunocytes in the evolutionarily conserved antioxidant and immune mechanisms and protein corona formation and probable endocytosis pathways involved in nanomaterial uptake. Our summary helps to realize why these environmental sentinels are beneficial to study the potential detrimental effects of nanomaterials.
- Innate immunity