Complement and Sheep Red Cells

Graham Shepherd muhero at globalnet.co.uk
Fri May 14 17:13:25 EST 1999

Derek W.R. Gray wrote in message <373C4BB3.3AB5 at nds.ox.ac.uk>...
>Has anyone any information on the difference between human plasma and
>serum in terms of activation of the alternative pathway of
>complement-mediated lysis of sheep red cells?  We are using this has a
>positive control for another assay of the effect of complement (on
>xeno-genetic islets), and have found that plasma has a remarkable
>inability to lyse sheep red cells.  Is this on the basis of complement
>inhibitors ?  I would suspect this is the sort of information that was
>worked out many years back, I will be grateful if anyone can search
>their memory for information or source of expertise.
>Derek Gray

Plasma contains anticoagulant - if it is EDTA or citrate - they work by
sequestering Calcium ions. Since calcium is necessary for complement
activation it's not surprising that it doesn't work.


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