The complement system
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- Sarma, J.V. & Ward, P.A. Cell Tissue Res (2011) 343: 227. doi:10.1007/s00441-010-1034-0
The complement system consists of a tightly regulated network of proteins that play an important role in host defense and inflammation. Complement activation results in opsonization of pathogens and their removal by phagocytes, as well as cell lysis. Inappropriate complement activation and complement deficiencies are the underlying cause of the pathophysiology of many diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and asthma. This review represents an overview of the complement system in an effort to understand the beneficial as well as harmful roles it plays during inflammatory responses.