The Complement system plays a significant role in the immune innate response. For long time it has been considered as an unspecific mechanism just devoted to the lysis of microorganisms. However, in the last years an increasing evidence concerning different biological activities has been discovered. In particular, growing information has been acquired on the mechanisms of Complement activation, on Complement regulation by specific receptors and inhibitors, and on genetic deficiencies, in the context of physiological or pathological conditions. Moreover, recent additional experimental data suggest a role for complement in the amplification of immune response and in the handling of apoptotic cells. In this review, all of these aspects have been considered, specifically taking into account the relationships between Complement activation and the development of rheumatic autoimmune diseases. References about the usefulness of evaluating Complement activity under these clinical conditions are also reported in detail. All the updated informations about Complement system, and its active involvement in the amplification of either inflammation and the immune response, recently led to consider reasonable the hypothesis of modulating this system as a therapeutic tool under different pathological conditions.
|Translated title of the contribution||Complement|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Progressi in Reumatologia|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
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