Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Exp Immunol. 2000 Apr;120(1):30-7.

Cellular localization of complement C3 and C4 transcripts in intestinal specimens from patients with Crohn's disease.

Author information

Samuel Jared Kushnick Paediatric Immunology Laboratory, and Departments of Pathology and Gastroenterology, The Chaim Sheba Medical Centre, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


It has been suggested that the increase in C3 and C4 levels in jejunal perfusates of patients with Crohn's disease (CD) results from local intestinal synthesis of complement. The present study evaluated the expression of these complement genes in inflamed tissues from patients with CD. Surgically resected specimens from patients with CD and control tissue obtained from subjects with adenocarcinoma of the colon were evaluated for C3 and C4 gene expression by the use of 35S-labelled anti-sense RNA probes. All tissue samples, diseased and normal tissue, expressed C4 mRNA throughout in the intestinal epithelium. C3 mRNA was not detected in epithelial cells in histologically normal tissue, but in diseased specimens there was a focal distribution of C3 mRNA in epithelial cells of the crypts, but not in villous epithelium. Focal C3 gene expression correlated with crypt abscess formation and the presence of polymorphonuclear leucocytes in the lumen of the crypts. In addition, C3 mRNA was also found in macrophages of the submucosa. These macrophages were CD68+, fusiform with faint cytoplasm and morphologically different from the large rounded lamina propria macrophages, which do not express C3 mRNA. Multinucleated giant cells did not express either C3 or C4 genes. In addition to its presence in intestinal epithelium, C4 mRNA was also expressed in mast cells, which however did not express C3 mRNA. These observations identify cells in the intestinal wall expressing complement genes and support the hypothesis that there is local regulated production of complement in the intestine of patients with CD, and subsequent complement activation may contribute to the inflammatory process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center