Lymphocyte integration of complement cues

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2019 Jan:85:132-142. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2018.02.005. Epub 2018 Mar 8.


We address current data, views and puzzles on the emerging topic of regulation of lymphocytes by complement proteins or fragments. Such regulation is believed to take place through complement receptors (CR) and membrane complement regulators (CReg) involved in cell function or protection, respectively, including intracellular signalling. Original observations in B cells clearly support that complement cues through CR improve their performance. Other lymphocytes likely integrate complement-derived signals, as most lymphoid cells constitutively express or regulate CR and CReg upon activation. CR-induced signals, particularly by anaphylatoxins, clearly regulate lymphoid cell function. In contrast, data obtained by CReg crosslinking using antibodies are not always confirmed in human congenital deficiencies or knock-out mice, casting doubts on their physiological relevance. Unsurprisingly, human and mouse complement systems are not completely homologous, adding further complexity to our still fragmentary understanding of complement-lymphocyte interactions.

Keywords: Anaphylatoxins; Complement; Innate lymphoid cell; Lymphocyte; Primary immunodeficiencies; Signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Complement System Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Complement System Proteins