Complement receptors and regulatory proteins in human atherosclerotic lesions.
Complement activation in human atherosclerotic lesions is indicated by the presence of C5b-9 terminal complexes. By using monoclonal antibodies to the complement C3b receptor (CR1) and the iC3b receptor (CR3), it was observed that approximately 20% of the cells in complicated human carotid lesions express CR1 and CR3 antigens. One to five percent of complement receptor-positive cells stained for smooth muscle cell-specific myosin, and the remainder were determined to be predominantly macrophages, based on their reactivity to anti-LeuM3 (CD14) monoclonal antibody. No C3dg receptor (CR2)-positive cells were observed in any of the eight lesions examined. The complement regulatory glycoprotein decay accelerating factor (DAF) was widely distributed extracellularly, in addition to being present on 20% to 60% of the total cell population. Factor H, a plasma protein that regulates alternative pathway C3 convertase formation, was observed extracellularly in 70% of the lesions examined. C1 inhibitor was present in a few plaque specimens, was relatively sparse, and appeared largely cell associated. Terminal C5b-9 complement complexes were pervasive in all lesions. Both the complement regulatory proteins and the activation products were limited to the area of lesion involvement and were absent from normal arterial wall. The results demonstrate that molecules involved in complement regulation and complement ligand binding are present in atherosclerotic lesions, where they may function to modulate the activities of complement.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association