The complement system in B cell regulation

Mol Immunol. 2004 Jun;41(2-3):141-6. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2004.03.017.


Early studies of animals bearing natural deficiencies in complement C3 and C4 and mice transiently deficient in C3 suggested that the complement system played a role in humoral immunity. Identification and characterization of the complement receptors CD21 and CD35 and their expression on B lymphocytes provided evidence for a direct role for complement in "linkage of innate and adaptive immunity". More recent studies of mice bearing targeted deficiencies in complement proteins C3, C4 or the receptors CD21/CD35 has confirmed the importance of complement in B cell responses in vivo and extended our understanding to distinct stages in B cell differentiation in which complement participates in humoral immunity. In this review, a role for complement is described in five distinct stages of B cell differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Receptors, Complement 3b / immunology
  • Receptors, Complement 3d / immunology


  • Receptors, Complement 3b
  • Receptors, Complement 3d
  • Complement System Proteins