, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 103-112

The role of the complement system in innate immunity

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Abstract

Complement is a major component of innate immune system involved in defending against all the foreign pathogens through complement fragments that participate in opsonization, chemotaxis, and activation of leukocytes and through cytolysis by C5b-9 membrane attack complex. Bacterias and viruses have adapted in various ways to escape the complement activation, and they take advantage of the complement system by using the host complement receptors to infect various cells. Complement activation also participates in clearance of apoptotic cells and immune, complexes. Moreover at sublytic dose, C5b-9 was shown to promote cell survival. Recently it was also recognized that complement plays a key role in adaptive immunity by modulating and modifying the T cell responses. All these data suggest that complement activation constitutes a critical link between the innate and acquired immune responses.