Autoantibodies against complement proteins are involved in the pathological process of many diseases, including lupus nephritis, C3 glomerulopathies, and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. This method describes the detection of autoantibodies targeting the central complement component C3 by ELISA. These autoantibodies (IgG) are detected in up to 30% of the patients with lupus nephritis and more rarely in cases with C3 glomerulopathies. These autoantibodies recognize the active fragment C3b and have overt functional consequences. They enhance the formation of the C3 convertase and prevent the inactivation of C3b by Factor H and complement receptor 1. Moreover, they enhance the deposition of complement activation fragments on activator surfaces, such as apoptotic cells. The data currently available on the relations of anti-C3 autoantibodies with clinical, laboratory, and histological markers for activity of lupus nephritis, as well as the relations of anti-C3 with classical immunological markers for activity of autoimmune process in patients with lupus nephritis, such as hypocomplementemia and high levels of anti-dsDNA, could identify these autoantibodies as a potential marker for evaluation the activity of lupus nephritis. These autoantibodies correlate with the disease severity and can be used to identify patients with lupus nephritis who were prone to flare. Therefore, the detection of such autoantibodies could guide the clinicians to evaluate and predict the severity and to manage the therapy of lupus nephritis.
About The Expert
Lubka T Roumenina