Genetic Deficiency of Complement Component 3 Does Not Alter Disease Progression in a Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease

J Huntingtons Dis. 2012;1(1):107-18. doi: 10.3233/JHD-2012-120021.


Several genes and proteins of the complement cascade are present at elevated levels in brains of patients with Huntington's disease (HD). The complement cascade is well characterized as an effector arm of the immune system, and in the brain it is important for developmental synapse elimination. We hypothesized that increased levels of complement in HD brains contributes to disease progression, perhaps by contributing to synapse elimination or inflammatory signaling. We tested this hypothesis in the R6/2 mouse model of HD by crossing mice deficient in complement component 3 (C3), a crucial complement protein found at increased levels in HD brains, to R6/2 mice and monitoring behavioral and neuropathological disease progression. We found no alterations in multiple behavioral assays, weight or survival in R6/2 mice lacking C3. We also quantified the expression of several complement cascade genes in R6/2 brains and found that the large scale upregulation of complement genes observed in HD brains is not mirrored in R6/2 brains. These data show that C3 deficiency does not alter disease progression in the R6/2 mouse model of HD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Complement C3 / genetics*
  • Complement C3 / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / genetics*
  • Huntington Disease / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic


  • Complement C3