Send to

Choose Destination
Immunobiology. 2002 Sep;205(4-5):446-54.

Assays for the functional activity of the mannan-binding lectin pathway of complement activation.

Author information

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) activates complement independently of the adaptive, clonal immune system and thus presents an innate anti-microbial defence mechanism. Events in the MBL pathway of complement activation involve the binding of MBL to patterns of carbohydrate structures presented by the surface of micro-organisms. For the activation of complement to occur MBL must be associated with serine proteases (MBL-associated serine proteases, MASPs) in an MBL/MASP complex. When bound to micro-organisms, the MBL complex mediates the activation of C4 and C2, generating the C3 convertase, C4bC2b. The C4/C2 cleaving activity of the MBL complex is shared with the C1 complex of the classical pathway of complement activation. Different assays that allow for determination of the activity of the MBL complex in serum samples have been developed and are discussed in this report. We present data from one such assay (MBL/MASP activity test), which we have found useful for the routine evaluation of clinical samples. In this assay any influence of the classical pathway has been eliminated by using a hypertonic buffer, which inhibits the binding of C1q to immuncomplexes and disrupt the C1 complex, while leaving the function of the MBL complex intact. In parallel we determine the MBL concentration in the sample. As predicted a very high correlation is observed between the results of the two assays.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center