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Mol Immunol. 2004 Jun;41(2-3):141-6.

The complement system in B cell regulation.

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Department of Pediatrics, The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research Inc., Harvard Medical School, 800 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Early studies of animals bearing natural deficiencies in complement C3 and C4 and mice transiently deficient in C3 suggested that the complement system played a role in humoral immunity. Identification and characterization of the complement receptors CD21 and CD35 and their expression on B lymphocytes provided evidence for a direct role for complement in "linkage of innate and adaptive immunity". More recent studies of mice bearing targeted deficiencies in complement proteins C3, C4 or the receptors CD21/CD35 has confirmed the importance of complement in B cell responses in vivo and extended our understanding to distinct stages in B cell differentiation in which complement participates in humoral immunity. In this review, a role for complement is described in five distinct stages of B cell differentiation.

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