The ancestral form o f the alternative pathway of complement activation probably originated as a primitive independent immune system. Subsequent evolution of an adaptive immune response drove the specialization o f the classical pathway to connect antibody-mediated nonself recognition to the complement-dependent effector mechanisms. In this article Timothy Farries and John Atkinson consider how the contemporary complexity arose by a succession of credible alterations at the genetic level, and the selective advantages provided at each step.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology today
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991


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