Complement diversity: a mechanism for generating immune diversity?

Immunol Today. 1998 Nov;19(11):519-23. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5699(98)01341-3.


Unlike mammalian species, several cold-blooded species have been shown to possess multiple forms of complement components. The multiple forms of C3 characterized in several fish species can bind with different specificities to various complement-activating surfaces. Here, Oriol Sunyer, Ioannis Zarkadis and John Lambris explore the possible advantages conferred by having multiple forms of individual complement proteins in a single organism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Complement C3 / immunology
  • Complement C3 / metabolism
  • Complement System Proteins / chemistry*
  • Complement System Proteins / classification*
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Fishes / immunology
  • Genetic Variation / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Phylogeny
  • Rabbits
  • Sheep
  • Zymosan / immunology


  • Complement C3
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Zymosan