Analysis of C-dependent lysis of sensitized SRBC by C2-deficient sera (C2D) led to the characterization of a C2 bypass pathway. Lysis in the total hemolytic C assay by C2D sera was Ca2+-dependent and required a high concentration of hemolysin to sensitize E. Selective component depletion indicated a requirement for C1 and C4 of the classical pathway (CP) and proteins B, P, and probably D̄ of the alternative pathway (AP). Total hemolytic C could be restored to normal in these C2D sera by utilizing heavily sensitized E or by the addition of a supranormal concentration of B. This system most closely resembles a pathway described by J.E. May and M.M. Frank which requires antibody, C1, and the AP but not C4 or C2. It differs in its requirement for C4. We hypothesized that this pathway represents vestiges of a more primitive C pathway. It becomes evident and possibly clinically important in the setting of C2 deficiency, by allowing C activation, other than the AP, and perhaps in normal individuals, by damaging microorganisms that have evolved means to inhibit early components of the CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2256-2261
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1989


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