Humoral response to herpes simplex virus is complement-dependent

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Oct 26;96(22):12708-12. doi: 10.1073/pnas.96.22.12708.


The complement system represents a cascade of serum proteins, which provide a major effector function in innate immunity. Recent studies have revealed that complement links innate and adaptive immunity via complement receptors CD21/CD35 in that it enhances the B cell memory response to noninfectious protein antigens introduced i.v. To examine the importance of complement for immune responses to virus infection in a peripheral tissue, we compared the B cell memory response of mice deficient in complement C3, C4, or CD21/CD35 with wild-type controls. We found that the deficient mice failed to generate a normal memory response, which is characterized by a reduction in IgG antibody and germinal centers. Thus, complement is important not only in the effector function of innate immunity but also in the stimulation of memory B cell responses to viral-infected cell antigens in both blood and peripheral tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / biosynthesis*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Complement System Proteins / physiology*
  • Herpes Simplex / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / immunology*
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Mice
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • beta-Galactosidase / immunology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Complement System Proteins
  • beta-Galactosidase