Using an in vitro xenoantibody-mediated complement-dependent cytotoxicity model to evaluate the complement inhibitory activity of the peptidic C3 inhibitor Cp40

Clin Immunol. 2016 Jan:162:37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2015.11.002. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


Simple and reliable methods for evaluating the inhibitory effects of drug candidates on complement activation are essential for preclinical development. Here, using an immortalized porcine aortic endothelial cell line (iPEC) as target, we evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of an in vitro xenoantibody-mediated complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) model for evaluating the complement inhibitory activity of Cp40, a potent analog of the peptidic C3 inhibitor compstatin. The binding of human xenoantibodies to iPECs led to serum dilution-dependent cell death. Pretreatment of the human serum with Cp40 almost completely inhibited the deposition of C3 fragments and C5b-9 on the cells, resulting in a dose-dependent inhibition of CDC against the iPECs. Using the same method to compare the effects of Cp40 on complement activation in humans, rhesus and cynomolgus monkeys, we found that the inhibitory patterns were similar overall. Thus, the in vitro xenoantibody-mediated CDC assay may have considerable potential for future clinical use.

Keywords: Complement inhibitor; Cp40; Nonhuman primate; SV40-immortalized porcine aortic endothelial cell.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Complement Activation / drug effects*
  • Complement C3 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Peptides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Pyridones / pharmacology*
  • Swine


  • Complement C3
  • Peptides
  • Pyridones
  • 1-(ethan-1-ol)-2-methyl-3-hydroxypyridin-4-one