Complement-derived leukotactic factors in inflammatory synovial fluids of humans

J Clin Invest. 1971 Mar;50(3):606-16. doi: 10.1172/JCI106531.


A large per cent of rheumatoid synovial fluids contain chemotactic activity for rabbit granulocytes (neutrophilic). The chemotactic activity is, in large part, related to the fifth (C5) and sixth (C6) components of human complement; a combination of physical-chemical techniques indicates the activity to be attributable to C567 and C5a, a cleavage product of C5. Many rheumatoid synovial fluids contain a C5-cleaving enzyme which, on the basis of substrate specificity and susceptibility to inhibitors, is very similar to an enzyme extractable from lysosomal granules of human and rabbit granulocytes. Inflammatory nonrheumatoid synovial fluids contain chemotactic activity that is related to cleavage products (C3a) of the third component of human complement (C3). Also found in these fluids is a C3-cleaving enzyme capable of producing C3a. Of the other synovial fluids examined, lupus fluids were remarkable by their total lack of chemotactic activity. These findings record for the first time the presence of complement-derived chemotactic factors in pathological human fluids.

MeSH terms

  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  • Arthritis / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Chemotaxis*
  • Chromatography
  • Complement System Proteins / analysis*


  • Complement System Proteins