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Adv Clin Exp Med. 2012 Jan-Feb;21(1):105-14.

Deficiencies and excessive human complement system activation in disorders of multifarious etiology.

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  • 1Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.


Complement is an integral part of the immune system protecting the host organism against invasion and proliferation of various microorganisms. It is also involved in the removal of the body's own damaged and altered cells. Activation of the complement system is a very precise process and it is strictly controlled by regulatory proteins present in both plasma and at host cells' surfaces. C3 protein plays a major role in the complement activation and generation of immune responses. Deficiencies of the C3 and other complement components, so-called early and late complement proteins, contribute to the emergence of recurrent bacterial, viral and fungal infections. The low level of mannose-binding lectin is also important. This protein plays a protective role in the early stages of infection and in the control of inflammation. Its deficit is one of the most common reasons for human immunodeficiency, observed in microbial infections as well as in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, the excessive activation of complement proteins is often discovered to be the reason for many diseases. These include e.g. autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer's syndrome, schizophrenia, atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome, angioedema, macular degeneration, and Crohn's disease.

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