Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Complement is one of the powerful effector systems involved in the body's defense. When present in a dormant state it can, in concert with other components of immune system, protect the individual from foreign pathogens. However, inappropriately activated complement can cause disease. Several disease states such as immune complex and autoimmune diseases and deficiencies of some complement regulators are associated with inappropriate activation of complement. In some diseases complement is activated for a long or indefinite period while in others for a comparatively short time; in some it is activated systemically, in others locally; in some whole cascade is activated, in others only a few components are activated; in some classical pathway is activated, in others alternative pathway. In some diseases activation of complement takes place on cell and tissue surfaces. In many complement activating diseases biological activities of complement fragments become detrimental resulting in tissue injury and disease. Inhibition of complement by specific inhibitors is likely to arrest complement mediated disease processes. From this point of view, some laboratories are developing low molecular weight synthetic inhibitors whereas others are focusing on the development of high molecular weight plasma or cell surface complement inhibitors in their natural or recombinant forms for therapeutic purposes. A review concerning development of low molecular weight inhibitors with the eventual aim of manipulating complement system in human diseases was recently published (1,2). This review is concerned with high molecular weight natural or recombinant complement inhibitory molecules in human plasma or cell membranes, some of which are already in clinical use.