The complement cascade is an evolutionary ancient innate immune defense system, playing a major role in the defense against infections. Its function in maintaining host homeostasis on activated cells has been emphasized by the crucial role of its overactivation in ever growing number of diseases, such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), autoimmune diseases as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), C3 glomerulopathies (C3GN), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), graft rejection, Alzheimer disease, and cancer, to name just a few. The last decade of research on complement has extended its implication in many pathological processes, offering new insights to potential therapeutic targets and asserting the necessity of reliable, sensitive, specific, accurate, and reproducible biomarkers to decipher complement role in pathology. We need to evaluate accurately which pathway or role should be targeted pharmacologically, and optimize treatment efficacy versus toxicity. This chapter is an introduction to the role of complement in human diseases and the use of complement-related biomarkers in the clinical practice. It is a part of a book intending to give reliable and standardized methods to evaluate complement according to nowadays needs and knowledge.
About The Expert
Lubka T Roumenina