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Clin Chim Acta. 2006 Dec;374(1-2):33-45. Epub 2006 Jun 14.

Complement mediators in ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, 5600 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.



Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury occurs when a tissue is temporarily deprived of blood supply and the return of the blood supply triggers an intense inflammatory response. Pathologically, increased complement activity can cause substantial damage to blood vessels, tissues and also facilitate leukocyte activation and recruitment following I/R injury. Herein, previously published studies are reported and critically reviewed.


Medline and the World Wide Web were searched and the relevant literature was classified under the following categories: (1) Complement pathways; (2) The complement system and the inflammatory response; (3) Complement in ischemia-reperfusion injuries; and (4) Therapeutic approaches against complement in I/R injuries.


I/R injury is a common clinical event with the potential to seriously affect, and sometimes kill, the patient and is a potent inducer of complement activation that results in the production of a number of inflammatory mediators. Complement activation leads to the release of biologically active potent inflammatory complement substances including the anaphylatoxins (C3a and C5a) and the cytolytic terminal membrane attack complement complex C5b-9 (MAC). The use of specific complement inhibitors to block complement activation at various levels of the cascade has been shown to prevent or reduce local tissue injury after I/R. Several agents that inhibit all or part of the complement system, such as soluble complement receptor type 1 (sCR1), C1 inhibitor (C1-INH), C5a monoclonal antibodies, a C5a receptor antagonist and soluble CD59 (sCD59) have been shown to reduce I/R injury of various organs. The novel inhibitors of complement products may eventually find wide clinical application because there are no effective drug therapies currently available to treat I/R injuries.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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