Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Development of a simple radioimmunoassay for human C3a

  • 11 Accesses

  • 3 Citations


A radioimmunoassay was devised for the human complement cleavage product, C3a, using charcoal separation and selective precipitation of interfering substances. When compared with the commercially available immunoassay now marketed, the assay reported here was somewhat simpler to perform; furthermore, it overcame delivery and availability problems in Europe. The assay showed a mean recovery of 87% of known amounts of C3a or C3adesarginine and had a sensitivity of 32 ng C3a per milliliter of plasma; coefficients of variance were comparable to other radioimmunoassays in common use. Using this assay in a first clinical application, we were able to document a small but statistically significant rise in [C3a] during cardiopulmonary bypass.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Hammerschmidt, D. E. 1983. Activation of the complement system and of granulocytes in lung injury: The adult respiratory distress syndrome.Adv. Inflam. Res. 5:147–172.

  2. 2.

    Heideman, M., B. Kaijser, andL. E. Gelin. 1978. Complement activation and hematologic, hemodynamic, and respiratory reactions early after soft-tissue injury.J. Trauma 18:696–700.

  3. 3.

    Schlag, G., andH. Regele. 1972. Lungenbiopsien bei hypovolÄmisch-traumatischem Schock.Med. Welt 23:1755–1758.

  4. 4.

    Schlag, G., andH. Redl. 1980. Leukostase in der Lunge beim hypovolÄmisch-traumatischen Schock.AnÆsthesist 29:606–612.

  5. 5.

    Hammerschmidt, D. E., L. J. Weaver, L. D. Hudson, P. R. Craddock, andH. S. Jacob. 1980. Association of complement activation and elevation of plasma-C5a with adult respiratory distress syndrome: Pathophysiologic relevance and possible prognostic value.Lancet 1:947–949.

  6. 6.

    Schonfeld, S. A., Y. Ploysongsang, R. DeLisio, J. D. Crissman, D. E. Hammerschmidt, H. S. Jacob, andE. Miller. 1983. Fat embolism syndrome prophylaxis with corticosteroids: A prospective study in high-risk patients.Ann. Intern. Med. 99:438–443.

  7. 7.

    Weinberg, P. F., M. A. Matthay, R. O. Webster, K. V. Roskos, I. M. Goldstein, andJ. F. Murray. 1984. Biologically active products of complement and acute lung injury in patients with the sepsis syndrome.Am. Rev. Respir. Dis. 130:791–796.

  8. 8.

    Hammerschmidt, D. E. 1986. Clinical utility of complement anaphylatoxin assays.Complement 3:166–176.

  9. 9.

    Hammerschmidt, D. E., T. K. Bowers, C. J. Lammi-Keefe, H. S. Jacob, andP. R. Craddock. 1980. Granulocyte aggregometry: A sensitive technique for the detection of C5a and complement activation.Blood 55:898–902.

  10. 10.

    Hammerschmidt, D. E., P. R. Craddock, J. J. McCullogh, R. S. Kronenberg, A. P. Dalmasso, andH. S. Jacob. 1978. Complement activation and pulmonary leukostasis during nylon-fiber filtration leukapheresis.Blood 51:721–730.

  11. 11.

    Stroncek, D., P. R. Craddock, andD. E. Hammerschmidt. 1984. Effect of dialyzer re-use on complement activation and leukopenia in hemodialysis.J. Lab. Clin. Med. 104:304–311.

  12. 12.

    Hugli, T. E., andD. E. Chenoweth. 1980. Biologically active peptides of complement: Techniques and significance of C3a and C5a measurements.In Immunoassays: Clinical Laboratory Techniques for the 1980s. R. M. Nakamura, W. R. Dito, and E. S. Tucker, III, editors. Alan R Liss, New York. 443–460.

  13. 13.

    Chenoweth, D. E. 1984. Biocompatibility of hemodialysis membranes: Evaluation with C3a anaphylatoxin radioimmunoassays.ASAIO J. 7:44–49.

  14. 14.

    Chenoweth, D. E., A. K. Cheung, andL. W. Henderson. 1983. Anaphylatoxin formation during hemodialysis: Effects of different dialyzer membranes.Kidney Int. 24:764–769.

  15. 15.

    Ivanovich, P., D. E. Chenoweth, R. Schmidt, H. Klinkmann, L. A. Boxer, H. S. Jacob, andD. E. Hammerschmidt. 1983. Symptoms and activation of granulocytes and complement with two dialysis membranes.Kidney Int. 24:758–763.

  16. 16.

    Chenoweth, D. E., S. W. Cooper, T. E. Hugli, R. W. Stewart, E. H. Blackstone, andJ. W. Kirklin. 1981. Complement activation during cardiopulmonary bypass: Evidence for generation of C3a and C5a anaphylatoxins.N. Engl. J. Med. 304:497–503.

  17. 17.

    Hammerschmidt, D. E., andG. M. Vercellotti. 1986. Perfluorocarbons as blood substitutes-limitation of complement activation in the control of adverse reactions.In Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, 1st ed. J. L. Vincent, editor. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 307–315.

  18. 18.

    Schwarz, S. 1983. Institute for General and Experimental Pathology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; personal communication.

  19. 19.

    Chard, T. 1982. Introduction to Radioimmunoassay and Related Techniques.In Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. T. S. Work and E. Work, editors. Elsevier Biomedical Press, Amsterdam. 307–315

  20. 20.

    Hugli, T. E., C. Gerard, M. Kawahara, M. E. Scheetz, II, R. Barton, S. Briggs, G. Koppel, andS. Russell. 1981. Isolation of three separate anaphylatoxins from complement-activated human serum.Mol. Cell. Biochem. 41:59–66.

  21. 21.

    Hugli, T. E., andH. J. Müller-Eberhard. 1978. Anaphylatoxins: C3a and C5a.Adv. Immunol. 26:1–53.

  22. 22.

    Ashcroft, J. 1970. Gamma counting of iodine-125 using a metal-loaded liquid scintillator.Anal. Biochem. 37:268–275.

  23. 23.

    Dudley, R. A., P. Edwards, R. P. Ekins, D. J. Finney, I. G. McKenzie, G. M. Raab, D. Rodbard, andR. P. Rodgers. 1985. Guidelines for immunoassay data processing.Clin. Chem. 31:1264–1271.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Portions of the work herein described were submitted by Dr. Lamche in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a doctorate degree at the Technical university of Vienna.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lamche, H.R., Paul, E., Schlag, G. et al. Development of a simple radioimmunoassay for human C3a. Inflammation 12, 265–276 (1988).

Download citation


  • Public Health
  • Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Application
  • Charcoal
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass