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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 Nov;299(5):R1175-82. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00282.2010. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Complement factor 3 deficiency attenuates hemorrhagic shock-related hepatic injury and systemic inflammatory response syndrome.

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Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


Although complement activation is known to occur in the setting of severe hemorrhagic shock and tissue trauma (HS/T), the extent to which complement drives the initial inflammatory response and end-organ damage is uncertain. In this study, complement factor 3-deficient (C3(-/-)) mice and wild-type control mice were subjected to 1.5-h hemorrhagic shock, bilateral femur fracture, and soft tissue injury, followed by 4.5-h resuscitation (HS/T). C57BL/6 mice were also given 15 U of cobra venom factor (CVF) or phosphate-buffered saline injected intraperitoneally, followed by HS/T 24 h later. The results showed that HS/T resulted in C3 consumption in wild-type mice and C3 deposition in injured livers. C3(-/-) mice had significantly lower serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and circulating DNA levels, together with much lower circulating interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) levels. Temporary C3 depletion by CVF preconditioning also led to reduced transaminases and a blunted cytokine release. C3(-/-) mice displayed well-preserved hepatic structure. C3(-/-) mice subjected to HS/T had higher levels of heme oxygenase-1, which has been associated with tissue protection in HS models. Our data indicate that complement activation contributes to inflammatory pathways and liver damage in HS/T. This suggests that targeting complement activation in the setting of severe injury could be useful.

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