Immune complex formation is a normal consequence of humoral immunity that removes foreign antigens from the circulation. Efficient removal of immune complexes by Fc or complement receptor-mediated uptake in phagocytic cells usually prevents their deposition elsewhere. Complement plays a major role in maintaining immune complexes in a soluble form, preventing their deposition in tissues. C3b is bound to the solubilized immune complexes, facilitating their clearance by the eryhrocyte complement receptor CR1. This efficient immune complex transport and removal by Fc and complement receptors can be overwhelmed, leading to tissue deposition and immune complex disease. This may result from overproduction of immune complexes, blockade of the phagocytic function of the mononuclear-phagocytic-system, or depletion of complement, leading to inefficient solubilization of immune complexes. Serum sickness and SLE are prototypes of human diseases thought to be caused in this manner. This work summarizes the pathophysiology, clearance and processing of immune complexes and their role in immune complex mediated autoimmune diseases and other specific diseases.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - dec. 1 2003|
- Autoimmun diseases
- Immune complex
- Immunocomplex mediated diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas