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Ex Vivo Test for Measuring Complement Attack on Endothelial Cells: From Research to Bedside

Abstract : As part of the innate immune system, the complement system plays a key role in defense against pathogens and in host cell homeostasis. This enzymatic cascade is rapidly triggered in the presence of activating surfaces. Physiologically, it is tightly regulated on host cells to avoid uncontrolled activation and self-damage. In cases of abnormal complement dysregulation/overactivation, the endothelium is one of the primary targets. Complement has gained momentum as a research interest in the last decade because its dysregulation has been implicated in the pathophysiology of many human diseases. Thus, it appears to be a promising candidate for therapeutic intervention. However, detecting abnormal complement activation is challenging. In many pathological conditions, complement activation occurs locally in tissues. Standard routine exploration of the plasma concentration of the complement components shows values in the normal range. The available tests to demonstrate such dysregulation with diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications are limited. There is a real need to develop tools to demonstrate the implications of complement in diseases and to explore the complex interplay between complement activation and regulation on human cells. The analysis of complement deposits on cultured endothelial cells incubated with pathologic human serum holds promise as a reference assay. This ex vivo assay most closely resembles the physiological context. It has been used to explore complement activation from sera of patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, malignant hypertension, elevated liver enzymes low platelet syndrome, sickle cell disease, pre-eclampsia, and others. In some cases, it is used to adjust the therapeutic regimen with a complement-blocking drug. Nevertheless, an international standard is lacking, and the mechanism by which complement is activated in this assay is not fully understood. Moreover, primary cell culture remains difficult to perform, which probably explains why no standardized or commercialized assay has been proposed. Here, we review the diseases for which endothelial assays have been applied. We also compare this test with others currently available to explore complement overactivation. Finally, we discuss the unanswered questions and challenges to overcome for validating the assays as a tool in routine clinical practice.
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Contributor : Marie-Sophie Meuleman Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, September 12, 2022 - 10:10:21 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 4:20:12 PM


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Marie-Sophie Meuleman, Anna Duval, Véronique Fremeaux-Bacchi, Lubka T Roumenina, Sophie Chauvet. Ex Vivo Test for Measuring Complement Attack on Endothelial Cells: From Research to Bedside. Frontiers in Immunology, 2022, 13, pp.860689. ⟨10.3389/fimmu.2022.860689⟩. ⟨hal-03775681⟩



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