International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 6, Issue 3–4, pp 233–238 | Cite as

The significance of C3 and C4 complement levels in lupus nephritis

  • Y. Levo
  • A. I. Pick


C3 and C4 serum complement component levels were examined during various stages of disease activity in 14 SLE patients. It was found that C3 levels were more sensitive index of disease activity than those of C4. C3 levels lower than C4 as expressed by a C3/C4<0.5 were found in 25% of the examined disease episodes; they were only observed in patients with renal involvement during or next to periods of disease activity. We suggest that such a pattern of C3 and C4 when found during the follow-up of SLE patients indicates active renal disease, and implies the recruitment of the alternate pathway for the activation of the complement system.


Renal Disease Nephritis Lupus Nephritis Alternate Pathway Sensitive Index 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Arisz, L., Brentjens, J. R. H., Van Der Hem, K. G., Mandema, E.: Clinical evaluation of serum beta1A and beta1E globulin levels in adult patients with renal disease.Acta Med. Scand. 192, 255 (1972).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barnett E. V.: Diagnostic aspects of LE cells and ANF in disease states.Mayo Clin. Proc. 44, 645 (1969).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carpenter, B. C.: Instability of the complement system in patients with renal allografts.Transplantation 5, 864 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dixon, W. J., Massey, F. J., Jr.: Introduction to Statistical Analysis. McGraw-Hill, New York 1969.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gewurtz, H., Pickering, R. J., Mergenhagen, S. E., Good, R. A.: The complement profile: in acute glomerulonephritis, systemic lupus erythematcsus and hypocomplementemic chronic glomerulonephritis.Int. Arch. Allergy 34, 556 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gotoff, S. P., Isaacs, E. W., Muehrcke, R. C., Smith, R. D.: Serum beta1C globulin in glomerulonephritis and systemic lupus erythematcsus.Ann. Int. Med. 71, 327 (1969)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gotze, O., Muller-Eberhard, H. J.: The C3 activatcr system; an alternate pathway of complement activation.J. Exp. Med. 134, 90 (1971).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hunsicker, L. G., Ruddy, S., Carpenter, C. B., Schur, P. H., Merrill, J. P., Muller-Eberhard, H. J., Austen, K. F.: Metabolism of third complement component (C3) in nephritis.New Engl. J. Med. 287, 835 (1972).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kohler, P. F., Bensel, R. T.: Serial complement component alteration in acute glomerulonephritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.Clin. Exp. Immunol. 4, 191 (1969).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Miyasato, F., Pollak, V. E., Burcelo, R.: Serum beta1A (beta1C) globulin in systemic lupus erythematosus: their relationship to clinical and renal histological findings.Arthritis Rheum. 9, 308 (1966).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Oyama, J. H.: Diagnosis and treatment of lupus nephritis.Med. Clin. N. A. 55, 71 (1971).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Petz, L. D., Sharp, G. C., Cooper, N. R., Irvin, W. S.: Serum and cerebral spinal fluid complement and serum autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus.Medicine, 50, 259 (1970).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pincus, T., Hughes, G. R. V., Pincus, D., Tina, L. V., Bellanti, J. A.: Antibodies to DNA in childhood systemic lupus erythermatosus.J. Pediatr. 78, 981 (1971).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rothfield, N., Ross, H. A., Minta, J. O., Lepow, I. H.: Glomerular and dermal deposition of properdin in systemic lupus erythematosus.New Engl. J. Med., 287, 681 (1972).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ruddy, S., Gigli, I., Austen, K. F.: The complement system of man.New Engl. J. Med. 287, 489 (1972).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ruddy, S., Hunsicker, L. G., Schur, P. H., Austen, K. F.: Abnormality of the alternate complement pathway in systemic lupus erythematosus and hypocomplementemic chronic glomerulonephritis.J. Clin. Invest. 51, 82 (1972).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schur, P. H., Austen, K. F.: Complement in human disease.Ann. Rev. Med. 19, 1 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schur, P. H., Sandson, J.: Immunologic factors and clinical activity in systemic lupus erythematosus.New Engl. J. Med. 278, 533 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Westberg, N. G., Naff, G. B., Boyer, J. T., Michael, A. F.: Glomerular deposition of properdin in acute and chronic glomerulonephritis with hypocomplementemia.J. Clin. Invest. 50, 642 (1971).PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Levo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • A. I. Pick
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Medicine BBeilinson HospitalPetah TikvaIsrael
  2. 2.Section of Clinical ImmunologyBeilinson HospitalPetah TikvaIsrael
  3. 3.Rogoff Institute for Medical ResearchBeilinson HospitalPetah TikvaIsrael
  4. 4.Sackler Medical SchcolTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations