Injury site-specific targeting of complement inhibitors for treating stroke

Immunol Rev. 2016 Nov;274(1):270-280. doi: 10.1111/imr.12470.


Cumulative evidence indicates a role for the complement system in both pathology and recovery after ischemic stroke. Here, we review the current understanding of the dual role of complement in poststroke injury and recovery, and discuss the challenges of anti-complement therapies. Most complement directed therapeutics currently under investigation or development systemically inhibit the complement system, but since complement is important for immune surveillance and is involved in various homeostatic activities, there are potential risks associated with systemic inhibition. Depending on the target within the complement pathway, other concerns are high concentrations of inhibitor required, low efficacy and poor bioavailability. To overcome these limitations, approaches to target complement inhibitors to specific sites have been investigated. Here, we discuss targeting strategies, with a focus on strategies developed in our lab, to specifically localize complement inhibition to sites of tissue injury and complement activation, and in particular to the postischemic brain. We discuss various injury site-specific targeted complement inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of ischemic stroke treatment, as well as their use as investigative tools for probing complement-dependent pathophysiological processes.

Keywords: complement system; inflammation; stroke; stroke therapeutics; tissue targeting.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Complement Activation / drug effects
  • Complement Inactivating Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Organ Specificity*
  • Stroke / drug therapy*


  • Complement Inactivating Agents