Complement deposits on ocular tissues adjacent to sites of inflammation

Curr Eye Res. 2007 Nov;32(11):917-22. doi: 10.1080/02713680701656343.


Purpose: The complement system plays important roles in a variety of chronic ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Here we examined the deposition of complement components in mouse eyes damaged by various mechanisms.

Methods: Mouse eyes were damaged by light or by three models of inflammation, i.e., local transgenic expression of cytokines, interleukin-1 or -7, or by induction of experimental autoimmune uveitis. Eye tissues obtained from each model were immunostained with antibodies against complement components C1q, C3, and C4.

Results: No complement deposition was seen in light damaged eyes, while in inflamed eyes we found complement deposition at sites of tissue damage and cellular infiltration. In addition to affected tissues, intense immunoreactivity against complement was unexpectedly observed in corneal tissues and lens capsule, despite lack of inflammation in these tissues.

Conclusion: Our observations suggest that ocular tissues adjacent to inflammatory sites undergo changes that facilitate complement deposition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / chemically induced
  • Autoimmune Diseases / metabolism*
  • Complement C1q / metabolism*
  • Complement C3 / metabolism*
  • Complement C4 / metabolism*
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • Eye Proteins / toxicity
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-1 / genetics
  • Interleukin-7 / genetics
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / radiation effects
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / metabolism
  • Retinal Diseases / metabolism
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins / toxicity
  • Uveitis / chemically induced
  • Uveitis / metabolism*


  • Complement C3
  • Complement C4
  • Eye Proteins
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-7
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins
  • interstitial retinol-binding protein
  • Complement C1q