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J Immunol. 2010 Nov 1;185(9):5598-606. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1001564. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Essential role of complement mannose-binding lectin-associated serine proteases-1/3 in the murine collagen antibody-induced model of inflammatory arthritis.

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Division of Rheumatology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Gene-targeted mice deficient in the complement mannose-binding lectin-associated serine protease-1 and -3 (MASP1/3(-/-)) express only the zymogen of factor D (pro-factor D [pro-Df]), a necessary component of the alternative pathway (AP). We used the murine collagen Ab-induced arthritis (CAIA) model, in which the AP is unique among complement pathways in being both necessary and sufficient for disease induction, to determine whether MASP-1/3 are required in vivo for the development of tissue injury. Disease activity scores, complement C3 tissue deposition in the joint, and histopathologic injury scores were markedly decreased in MASP1/3(-/-) as compared with wild-type (WT) mice. MASP-1 protein was immunochemically localized to synovial cells of knees of WT mice with arthritis. Pro-Df was present in both synovial cells and chondrocytes of knees of WT and MASP1/3(-/-) mice without arthritis, with increased amounts present in synovial cells of WT mice with CAIA. No conversion of pro-Df to mature Df was detectable in the serum of MASP1/3(-/-) mice during the evolution of CAIA. C3 activation and deposition as well as C5a generation induced in vitro by adherent anti-type II collagen mAbs were absent using sera from MASP1/3(-/-) mice under conditions in which only the AP was active. The addition of human Df fully reconstituted in vitro C3 activation and C5a generation using sera from MASP1/3(-/-) mice. Our studies demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, the absolute requirement for the activity of MASP-1 protein in autoimmune-associated inflammatory tissue injury in vivo through activation of the AP of complement by cleavage of pro-Df to mature Df.

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