Recent evidence has demonstrated that the complement cascade is involved in a variety of physiologic and pathophysiologic processes in addition to its role as an immune effector. Research in a variety of organ systems has shown that complement proteins are direct participants in maintenance of cellular turnover, healing, proliferation and regeneration. As a physiologic housekeeper, complement proteins maintain tissue integrity in the absence of inflammation by disposing of cellular debris and waste, a process critical to the prevention of autoimmune disease. Developmentally, complement proteins influence pathways including hematopoietic stem cell engraftment, bone growth, and angiogenesis. They also provide a potent stimulus for cellular proliferation including regeneration of the limb and eye in animal models, and liver proliferation following injury. Here, we describe the complement cascade as a mediator of tissue growth and regeneration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas