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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2005 Oct;44(10):1227-32. Epub 2005 Jun 21.

Complement and its breakdown products in SLE.

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Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital of Lund, SE-22185 Lund, Sweden.


The complement system has important protective functions in both the innate and the adaptive immune systems but can also, when inappropriately activated, cause tissue damage. Complement deficiency predisposes to infection and also to development of autoimmune disease, especially SLE, and complement is at the same time involved in the pathogenesis of this disease. In this review, various aspects of this dualism are discussed. An overview of activation pathways and activation products is given, together with a description of autoimmunity against complement and the potential of complement regulation in future therapeutics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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