complement question

David L. Haviland, Ph.D. dhavilan at IMM2.IMM.UTH.TMC.EDU
Thu May 28 13:58:25 EST 1998

At 18:33 5/26/98 -0700, you wrote:
>this is probably a simple question, but which cells produce complement?
>each of my books says something along the lines of "complement is a
>heat-labile component of normal plasma..." but nothing of its origins.
>any help would be appreciated.


If someone hasn't already answered you, all complement proteins are made in
the liver as the body's primary source.  However, other cells
(extra-hepatic sites of synthesis) can be found all over the body.
Macrophages make a fair number of complement components, dermal fibroblasts
can be "coaxed" to make C3, C4 and Bf.  If memory serves, the lung
epithelia (for in vitro use, the A549 cells) can just about make all the
components as well.  Given various infections and scenarios of locations of
inflammation, many types of cells in the body can synthesize complement
components when need (and induced).  However, per the textbooks, the liver,
by far, is the major player in the synthesis of complement proteins as well
as acute phase proteins of which C3 and C4 are part.

Hope this helps,

 David L. Haviland, Ph.D.
 Asst. Prof. Immunology 
 University of Texas - Houston, H.S.C.
 Institute of Molecular Medicine  
 2121 W. Holcombe Blvd.  
 Houston, TX  77030 
 Internet:"dhavilan at imm2.imm.uth.tmc.edu" 
 Voice: 713.500.2413  FAX: 713.500.2424
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

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