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Nat Immunol. 2001 Aug;2(8):739-45.

Contribution of the innate immune system to autoimmune myocarditis: a role for complement.

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Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Myocarditis is a principal cause of heart disease among young adults and is often a precursor of heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy. We show here that complement is critical for the induction of experimental autoimmune myocarditis and that it acts through complement receptor type 1 (CR1) and type 2 (CR2). We also found a subset of CD44(hi)CD62L(lo) T cells that expresses CR1 and CR2 and propose that both receptors are involved in the expression of B and T cell activation markers, T cell proliferation and cytokine production. These findings provide a mechanism by which activated complement, a key product of the innate immune response, modulates the induction of an autoimmune disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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