Mannose-binding lectin binds IgM to activate the lectin complement pathway in vitro and in vivo

Immunobiology. 2006;211(10):759-66. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2006.06.011. Epub 2006 Jul 28.


Recent evidence has implicated a role for the MBL-dependent lectin pathway in gastrointestinal and myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced injury. However, previous studies have implicated IgM and the classical pathway as initiators of complement activation following I/R. Thus, we investigated the potential interaction between MBL and IgM leading to complement activation. Using surface plasmon resonance, we demonstrate that MBL does bind human IgM. Subsequently, functional complement activation was demonstrated in vitro following sensitization of human RBCs with mouse anti-human CD59 IgM and more lysis was observed with MBL sufficient sera compared to MBL deficient (KO) sera. Similarly, treatment of human endothelial cells with mouse anti-human CD59 IgM, MBL and MASP-2 activated and deposited C4. These data suggest that the presence of both IgM and MBL can activate the lectin pathway in vitro. Serum ALT levels increased significantly in sIgM/MBL-A/C KO mice reconstituted with WT plasma compared to sIgM/MBL-A/C KO mice reconstituted with MBL-A/C KO plasma following gastrointestinal (G) I/R. Similarly, intestinal C3 deposition was greater in sIgM/MBL-A/C KO mice reconstituted with WT plasma compared to sIgM/MBL-A/C KO mice treated with MBL-A/C KO plasma. These data indicate for the first time that both IgM and MBL-A/C are required for GI/R-induced complement activation and subsequent injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Complement Pathway, Mannose-Binding Lectin / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / chemistry
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism*
  • Mannose-Binding Lectin / chemistry
  • Mannose-Binding Lectin / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Rabbits
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance


  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Mannose-Binding Lectin