Background: Complement activation contributes to the regulation of liver regeneration after liver resection (LR) in mice.
Methods: We hypothesized that complement activation and changes in C5a-receptors (C5aR, C5L2) on polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) and monocytes are important in clinical LR. Anaphylatoxin and C5b9 plasma levels were measured (bead-array, ELISA) (25 patients) and receptor expression was assessed after LR (19 patients) (FACS). In vitro PMN C5a-dependent chemotactic response (7 patients) as well as L-selectin shedding and Mac-1 expression (3 patients) was determined.
Results: C3a increased after LR (31.1 +/- 4 before LR vs. 41.6 +/- 5 ng/ml, 30 min after LR, P < 0.01), as did C5b9 (12.7 +/- 1 before LR vs. 26.9 +/- 3 ng/ml, 60 min after LR, P < 0.001). C4a and C5a decreased after LR, by 25% 24 h after LR and 30% 2 h after LR, respectively (P < 0.01). C5L2 expression decreased at 4 h, rising at 24 h after LR (PMN: 6.3 +/- 1 before LR, 3.1 +/- 1, 4 h, 8.3 +/- 2, 24 h; P < 0.01). The receptor-related changes accompanied a diminished C5a-dependent chemotactic response by PMN (42.1 +/- 17 before LR vs. 2.1 +/- 3 4 h after LR; P < 0.01) and a reduction of activation upon C5a-R stimulation as measured by L-selectin shedding and Mac-1 expression on PMN. Changes in C5L2 expression on monocytes paralleled postoperative impairment of liver function.
Conclusions: These results indicate that complement components are released after clinical LR and subsequently PMN display altered C5a-dependent functional responses.