Indexed on: 23 Aug '06Published on: 23 Aug '06Published in: Autoimmunity
Complement proteins play an integral role in both innate and adaptive immune responses of the host. Complement activation leads to the formation of bioactive molecules including the anaphylatoxins, C3a and C5a, and the lytic membrane attack complex (C5b-9). These molecules trigger a series of events that culminate in the recruitment of phagocytic cells, release of cytokines/chemokines and reactive oxygen species, enhanced expression of adhesion molecules and apoptosis at the site of inflammation. Several animal models provide evidence that this series of events forms the basis for the pathophysiology found in many lung diseases, such as asthma and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Clinical data further confirm these findings. This review briefly discusses recent data from such studies.