Although the complement system is thought to be mainly involved in innate immunity and in the humoral arm of adaptive responses, evidence implicating that complement impacts T cell responses are accumulating recently. The role of the various activation products of the major complement component C3 were mainly studied so far in animal systems, and investigations regarding the effect of different C3-fragments on human T cells are sparse. Here we show that anti-CD3 activated human T lymphocytes derived from the blood and tonsil of healthy individuals produce C3, and the major cleavage fragment that appears on the T cell surface is iC3b. Based on studies carried out in allogenic system we demonstrate that the T cell membrane bound iC3b binds to the CR3 and probably to CR4 receptors expressed on monocyte-derived dendritic cells, and this interaction leads to significantly enhanced T-cell proliferation. Since neither C3aR and nor C3a binding could be detected on the membrane of anti-CD3 activated T cells, our findings indicate that in humans - in contrast to mice - the C3a peptide is most probably not involved directly in the T cell activation process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy