Sponges, which are in close contact with numerous bacteria in prey/predator, symbiotic and pathogenic relationships, must provide an appropriate response in such situations. This starts with a discriminating recognition of the partner either by a physical contact or through secreted molecules or both. We investigated the expression of the Toll-like receptor, Caspase 3/7, Tumor Necrosis Factor receptor-associated factor 6, Bcl-2 homology protein-2 and macrophage expressed genes of axenic sponge cells in the presence of a symbiotic bacterium (Endozoicomonas sp. Hex311), a pathogen bacterium (Pseudoalteromonas sp. 1A1), their exoproducts and lipopolysaccharides. The vast majority of answers are in line with what could be observed with the symbiotic bacterium. The pathogenic bacterium seems to profit from the eukaryotic cell: suppression of the production of the antibacterial compound, inhibition of the apoptosis caspase-dependent pathway, deregulation of bacterial recognition. This work contributes new scientific knowledge in the field of immunology and apoptosis in early branching metazoan harboring within its tissue and cells a large number of symbiotic bacteria.