C3b deposition during activation of the alternative complement pathway and the effect of deposition on the activating surface

M. K. Pangburn, R. D. Schreiber, H. J. Muller Eberhard

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78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Examination of C3b deposition on the surface of activators during alternative pathway activation revealed three temporal phases: a lag phase, an amplification phase, and a heretofore uncharacterized plateau phase. During the plateau phase no C3b deposition appeared to occur even in the presence of an excess of alternative pathway components. Double label experiments, however, revealed that the plateau was a steady state between continued C3b deposition and release of C3b or C3bi from the activator. Under conditions of excess complement it was found that deposition of increasing numbers of C3b molecules caused a gradual increase in the ability of Factors H and I to inactivate newly deposited C3b; i.e., the deposited C3b converted the activator into a nonactivator. The data indicate that the surface of rabbit erythrocytes is rendered completely nonactivating when 2.4 x 106 molecules of C3b plus C3bi are bound per cell. The plateau of C3b deposition appears to represent the maximum steady state level maintainable by a given concentration of complement components, and it also reflects conversion of an activating surface to one resembling a nonactivator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1930-1935
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume131
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1983

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