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Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Nov 15;41 Suppl 7:S440-4.

The role of the mannose-binding lectin in innate immunity.

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Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


The innate immune system, which includes mannose-binding lectin (MBL), recognizes a broad range of molecular patterns on a broad range of infectious agents and is able to distinguish them from self. MBL is a liver-derived serum protein and is secreted into the serum, where it can activate an immune response before the induction of antigen-specific immunity. Circumstantial evidence in human populations suggests that low serum levels of MBL predispose to infection. To analyze the role of MBL in vivo, we created MBL-null mice and challenged these mice with infection under various conditions. Our results suggest that MBL plays an important role as a first-line host defense against certain infectious agents. In addition, it is likely that MBL is a key regulator of inflammation beyond expected roles in the infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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