In a previous study, we found immunoreactivity for complement factors C3, C3d, and C4d, as well as endogenous IgG in the hypoglossal nucleus following hypoglossal nerve transection, suggesting that activation of the complement cascade had taken place in the vicinity of the axotomized motorneurons. In the present study, we found increased immunoreactivity for complement factor C1 and C1q in reactive microglia, indicating an increased potential for initiation of the classical pathway by binding of IgG to C1q. Furthermore, we found immunoreactivity for C9, which contributes to the formation of C5b-9, the final lytic product of the complement cascade close to the axotomized neurons and perineuronal glia. In addition, immunoreactivity and mRNA labeling of sulfated glycoprotein (SGP-2), a putative complement inhibitor, was increased in a subpopulation of the axotomized motorneurons. SGP-2 immunoreactivity was also increased in astroglial cells ipsilateral to the nerve injury. The results lend further support to the hypothesis that the complement cascade is activated in the vicinity of axotomized neurons, which in turn may be protected by complement inhibitors. The balance between activation of complement and complement inhibitors might have an impact on the degenerative components of the axon reaction and, in particular, the events leading to nerve cell death.