Complement C3a: Shaping the Plasticity of the Post-stroke Brain

  • Anna Stokowska
  • Marcela PeknaEmail author
Part of the Springer Series in Translational Stroke Research book series (SSTSR)


Complement is part of the innate immune system that plays a major role in the initiation of inflammation and host defence against pathogenic bacteria. Complement activation is also a contributor to tissue damage in a range of autoimmune conditions. For those reasons, the activation of the complement system in the central nervous system (CNS) was for long considered deleterious. Based on the evidence accumulated during the past decade, this view has been dramatically changing and complement is gaining recognition for its non-immune surveillance related functions, including regulation of morphogenesis, and adult tissue regeneration. C3a is a 77 amino acid, 9 kDa peptide generated through the proteolytic activation of the central molecule of the complement system, the third complement component, C3. C3a exerts most of its functions through its canonical G-protein coupled receptor C3aR that is expressed by many cell types including neurons and glia. This chapter considers recent insights into the novel roles of the complement system, in particular C3a, in the CNS with focus on brain plasticity and recovery after ischemic brain injury.


C3a C3a receptor The complement system Ischemic stroke Neural plasticity Recovery 



α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor


Complement component 1q


The third complement component


The smaller of the two fragments generated by proteolytic activation of C3


C3a after removal of C-terminal arginine residue


C3a receptor


The larger of the two fragments generated by proteolytic activation of C3


The smaller of the two fragments generated by proteolytic activation of the fifth complement component


Second receptor for C5a


Cluster of differentiation


Central nervous system


Complement receptor 3


Extracellular signal-regulated kinase


Growth associated protein 43


Glial fibrillary acidic protein


Glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter driven expression of C3a


Immunoglobulin G


Immunoglobulin M




Activated coagulation factor IX


Mannose binding lectin


Nerve growth factor


Activated coagulation factor XI


Activated coagulation factor X


Vesicular glutamate transporter 1


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Regenerative Neuroimmunology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience and PhysiologySahlgrenska Academy at University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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