Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2005 Oct 1;208(1):68-77.

Variability of biological effects of silicas: different degrees of activation of the fifth component of complement by amorphous silicas.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular Pathology, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy.


A biogenic and a pyrogenic amorphous silica were incubated in normal human plasma and compared on a per unit surface basis for their ability to split C5 molecules and yield small C5a peptides. Since C5a peptides induce selective chemotactic attraction of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN), measurement of PMN-induced chemotaxis was used as an index of C5 activation. Though to a lesser extent than the crystalline forms, amorphous silicas can promote the cleavage of C5 protein and generation of C5a-like fragment. The biogenic silica, which differs from the pyrogenic variety in particle shape, level of contaminants, and degree of surface hydrophilicity, besides specific surface, induced a greater response. Both silicas activated C5 through a process which seems to involve multiple events similar to those induced by crystalline silica. C5 molecules are adsorbed and hydroxyl radicals are generated through Haber Weiss cycles catalyzed by the redox-active iron present at the particle surface either as trace impurities or chelated from plasma by silanol groups. In turn, these radicals convert native C5 to an oxidized C5-like form C5(H2O2). Finally, C5(H2O2) is cleaved by protease enzymatic action of plasma kallikrein activated by the same silica dusts, yielding a product, C5a(H2O2), having the same functional characteristic as C5a.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk