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The contact/kinin and complement systems in vasculitis

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Karpman D, Kahn R. The contact/kinin and complement systems in vasculitis. APMIS 2009; 177: 48–54.

Vasculitides are a group of conditions with marked inflammation in and around vessel walls and vascular leakage. These conditions may involve the presence of auto-antibodies such as ANCA or may be mediated by other autoimmune or pathogenic mechanisms. Regardless of the primary trigger, vasculitides entail activation of the complement system as well as the contact/kinin system. In vivo and in vitro data support the involvement of these systems showing activation of the alternative, classical and lectin complement pathways as well as release of bradykinin at sites of vascular inflammation. This short review will summarize some of the data regarding the participation of these systems and the interplay between the complement and kinin systems as well as their interaction with the endothelium and neutrophils. Although these systems do not play a primary role in induction of vasculitis, the peptides released contribute to inflammation and vascular leakage and may thus be identified as potential therapeutic targets.

Keywords: Complement; bradykinin; contact system; endothelium; vasculitis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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