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Involvement of complement in atopic dermatitis.


There is little information about the role of complement in atopic dermatitis (AD). We studied the levels of both normal complement components and activation products in peripheral blood of patients with mild to intermediate disease. 35 patients had not received systemic or topical steroid therapy 6 weeks prior to blood collection. C3, C4 and C1 INA were determined in serum by radioimmunodiffusion. C3a and C5a levels were measured in EDTA plasma by radioimmunoassay. Compared to healthy non-atopic controls C3, C4 and C1 INA were found to be increased significantly. There was a tendency towards increased C3a levels but the difference was not significant. No measurable amounts of C5a were detected. Elevations of C3a were correlated with elevated levels of C3. The results suggest that the complement system participates in the inflammatory process in AD.

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