Complement-dependent transport of antigen into B cell follicles

J Immunol. 2010 Sep 1;185(5):2659-64. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1000522.


Since the original proposal by Fearon and Locksley (Fearon and Locksley. 1996. Science 272: 50-53) that the complement system linked innate and adaptive immunity, there has been a rapid expansion of studies on this topic. With the advance of intravital imaging, a number of recent papers revealed an additional novel pathway in which complement C3 and its receptors enhance humoral immunity through delivery of Ag to the B cell compartment. In this review, we discuss this pathway and highlight several novel exceptions recently found with a model influenza vaccine, such as mannose-binding lectin opsonization of influenza and uptake by macrophages, and the capture of virus by dendritic cells residing in the medullary compartment of peripheral lymph nodes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / virology
  • Cell Compartmentation / immunology
  • Complement System Proteins / physiology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / virology
  • Humans
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Complement System Proteins