The Role of Complement in Host Defence and Immune Response

  • R. Burger
Conference paper


The immune system might be compared with a domino: There are individual elements which have to interact in a certain sequence. The sequence might vary considerably, depending on the point of view of the given investigator. These crucial elements within the immune response include antigen, antibody, T- and B-lymphocytes, MHC, cytokines and the complement system. Complement is one example of those pieces which one could place very well in different steps within the sequence. It contributes in the preimmune phase to non-specific host defence and inflammation. Alternatively, complement might be regarded as an early component during the induction of the specific immune response and it acts also in final, i.e. effector phase of the immune reaction. Complement is clearly a major humoral defence system. It represents a kind of endegenous immunomodulator or immunoregulatory system. In the following, a short overview of this protein system is given focussing on the role of the complement protein C3. C3 clearly represents a crucial component within the complement system.


Complement System Complement Component Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Specific Immune Response Membrane Attack Complex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Burger
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of ImmunologyRobert Koch-Institut, BGABerlin 65W. Germany

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