Role of Complement on Broken Surfaces After Trauma

  • Markus Huber-Lang
  • Anita Ignatius
  • Rolf E. Brenner
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 865)


Activation of both the complement and coagulation cascade after trauma and subsequent local and systemic inflammatory response represent a major scientific and clinical problem. After severe tissue injury and bone fracture, exposure of innate immunity to damaged cells and molecular debris is considered a main trigger of the posttraumatic danger response. However, the effects of cellular fragments (e.g., histones) on complement activation remain enigmatic. Furthermore, direct effects of “broken” bone and cartilage surfaces on the fluid phase response of complement and its interaction with key cells of connective tissues are still unknown. Here, we summarize data suggesting direct and indirect complement activation by extracellular and cellular danger associated molecular patterns. In addition, key complement components and the corresponding receptors (such as C3aR, C5aR) have been detected on “exposed surfaces” of the damaged regions. On a cellular level, multiple effects of complement activation products on osteoblasts, osteoclasts, chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells have been found.

In conclusion, the complement system may be activated by trauma-altered surfaces and is crucially involved in connective tissue healing and posttraumatic systemic inflammatory response.


Mesenchymal stem cells Complement Trauma Broken surfaces 



The cited author’s own work was funded in part by the State of Baden-Württemberg (Perspektivförderung), the DFG Clinical Research Unit KFO200 TP2 and TP4, and the SFB1149.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Huber-Lang
    • 1
  • Anita Ignatius
    • 2
  • Rolf E. Brenner
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic Trauma, Hand-, Plastic-, and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Orthopedic Research and BiomechanicsUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  3. 3.Division for Biochemistry of Joint and Connective Tissue Diseases, Department of OrthopedicsUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

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