The Partial Isolation and Function of Salivary Factors Which Interact with the Complement System: a Possible Role in Mucosal Immunity

  • Robert J. Boackle
  • Gretchen B. Caughman
  • Elaine A. Carsgo
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 107)


Penetration of oral bacterial substances, coated with salivary constituents, into damaged mucosa and subsequent contact with serum complement components is an example of the potential for saliva-complement reactions. These interactions may affect not only the production of the potent complement-generated anaphylatoxins and chemotactic factors, C3a and C5a, but also other immunological responses which depend to varying extents on complement activation. These include stimulation of the differentiation of B lymphocytes to become antibody-producing plasma cells, B-cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and stimulation of macrophages and polymorphonuclear leukocytes to release lysosomal proteolytic enzymes. Stimulation of these cells is thought to occur as a result of the attachment of complement-coated antigens to specific C3b and C5b receptors on B lymphocytes, macrophages, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Furthermore, saliva-coated oral antigens may contact the functional complement components in the crevicular fluid (1) prior to tissue penetration.


Complement Component Parotid Saliva Fresh Human Serum Salivary Substance Eluant Buffer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Boackle
    • 1
  • Gretchen B. Caughman
    • 1
  • Elaine A. Carsgo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Basic and Clinical Immunology and MicrobiologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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