Complement??

Dr N.C. Eastmond nce at liverpool.ac.uk
Mon Jan 6 09:31:59 EST 1997


: "The biological importance of the complement system for the maintenance
: of a functional host defence is impressively illustrated by the 
: markedly increased susceptibility to infection and the predisposition 
: to diseases observed in some congenital or acquired deficiencies of 
: complement components or complement regulatory proteins."

....which says absolutely nothing about the key characteristics of the 
complement cascade. To illustrate my point:

: "The biological importance of the cytokines for the maintenance
: of a functional host defence is impressively illustrated by the 
: markedly increased susceptibility to infection and the predisposition 
: to diseases observed in some congenital or acquired deficiencies of 
: cytokines or cytokine regulatory proteins."

.....or.....

: "The biological importance of the tomato soup for the maintenance
: of a functional host defence is impressively illustrated by the 
: markedly increased susceptibility to infection and the predisposition 
: to diseases observed in some congenital or acquired deficiencies of 
: tomato soup or tomato soup regulatory proteins."

See?

The best way to look at complement is to see it as a host of proteins each
of which has an inactive and an active state. A triggering event causes one
of the inactive components to switch to it's active form. Then that active
protein acts on another of the inactive ones, thus activating it. This newly
activated protein goes and activates a third component. Thus, a cascade of
activating events occurs which ends with things like fibrin solution or
bradykinin activation. Easily the best way to understand complement is to
see a diagram of the classical pathway in a book. 

: Betty Bridges, RN

RN? Is that a nursing qualification or is it something to do with the Royal
Navy?

--
Nigel C. Eastmond, nce at liv.ac.uk.
Dept. Pharmacology, University of Liverpool. 
<http://www.liv.ac.uk/~nce/personal/index.htm>
Save the Earth - eat Jupiter.



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