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Immunity. 2003 Feb;18(2):217-27.

Deficiency of the mouse complement regulatory protein mCd59b results in spontaneous hemolytic anemia with platelet activation and progressive male infertility.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Basal complement activity presents a potential danger for "self" cells that are tightly protected by complement regulators including CD59. Mice express two Cd59 genes (mCd59a and mCd59b); mCd59b has approximately a 6-fold higher specific activity than mCd59a. Consistently, mCd59b knockout mice present a strong phenotype characterized by hemolytic anemia with increased reticulocytes, anisopoikilocytosis, echinocytosis, schistocytosis, free hemoglobin in plasma, hemoglobinuria with hemosiderinuria, and platelet activation. Remarkably, mCd59b(-/-) males express a progressive loss of fertility associated with immobile dysmorphic and fewer sperm cells after 5 months of age. This work indicates that mCd59b is a key complement regulator in mice and that CD59 is critical in protecting self cells; it also provides a novel model to study complement regulation in human diseases.

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