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Hereditary deficiency of the fifth component of complement in man. I. Clinical, immunochemical, and family studies.

By S I Rosenfeld, M E Kelly and J P Leddy

Abstract

The first recognized human kindred with hereditary deficiency of the fifth component of complement (C5) is described. The proband, a 20-year-old black female with systemic lupus erythematosus since age 11, lacked serum hemolytic complement activity, even during remission. C5 was undetectable in her serum by both immunodiffusion and hemolytic assays. Other complement components were normal during remission of lupus, but C1, C4, C2, and C3 levels fell during exacerbations. A younger half-sister, who had no underlying disease, was also found to lack immunochemically detectable C5. By hemolytic assay, she exhibited 1-2% of the normal serum C5 level and normal concentrations of other complement components. C5 levels of other family members were either normal or approximately half-normal, consistent with autosomal codominant inheritance of the gene determining C5 deficiency. Normal hemolytic titers were restored to both homozygous C5-deficient (C5D) sera by addition of highly purified human C5. In specific C5 titrations, however, it was noted that when limited amounts of C5 were assayed in the presence of low dilutions of either C5D serum, curving rather than linear dose-response plots were consistently obtained, suggesting some inhibitory effect. Further studies suggested that low dilutions of C5D serum contain a factor (or factors) interfering at some step in the hemolytic assay of C5, rather than a true C5 inhibitor or inactivator. Of clinical interest are (a) the documentation of membranous glomerulonephritis, vasculitis, and arthritis in an individual lacking C5 (and its biologic functions), and (b) a remarkable propensity to bacterial infections in the proband, even during periods of low-dose or alternate-day corticosteroid therapy. Other observations indicate that the C5D state is compatible with normal coagulation function and the capacity to mount a neutrophilic leukocytosis during pyogenic infection

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1976
DOI identifier: 10.1172/jci108433
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:436822
Provided by: PubMed Central
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