Complement-mediated acute effects of liposome-encapsulated hemoglobin

Janos Szebeni, Carl R. Alving

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

21 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies on liposome-encapsulated hemoglobin (LEH) have indicated that this potential blood substitute can activate the complement (C) system of rats, pigs and man. The reaction can involve both the classical and the alternative pathways, and is mediated, in part, by the binding of natural anti-lipid antibodies to the lipid membrane of liposomes. The significance of these discoveries lies in the fact that C activation appears to be the primary cause of the acute physiological, hematological and laboratory changes that have been observed previously in rats and pigs following the administration of LEH or liposomes, which changes include pulmonary vasoconstriction with decreased cardiac output. In light of the proposed use of LEH as an emergency blood substitute, the latter impairment of cardiopulmonary function may warrant particular circumspection as it could aggravate the clinical state of trauma patients who are prone to develop respiratory distress partly as a consequence of C activation by the injury. Our studies on rats and pigs suggest that the above acute side effects of LEH, including the cardiopulmonary distress, can be efficiently inhibited with soluble complement receptor type I, a specific inhibitor of C activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalArtificial Cells, Blood Substitutes, and Immobilization Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering

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