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Immunol Lett. 2005 Mar 15;97(2):171-9. Epub 2004 Dec 7.

Complement: central to innate immunity and bridging to adaptive responses.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK.


The complement system, a pillar of innate immunity, has belatedly become recognised as a key modulator of adaptive immunity, acting to direct, modulate and modify the responses of lymphocytes to stimuli. These effects are mediated by interactions between complement components or activation-derived fragments and specific binding proteins--complement receptors and regulators--on the target cells. This review will describe the current state of knowledge in this swiftly moving field. It is hoped that the recognition of these properties will help to establish complement in the role it richly deserves as the lynchpin of immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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