Previous studies have shown that complement activation on renal tubular cells is involved in the induction of interstitial fibrosis and cellular injury. Evidence suggests that the tubular cell damage is initiated by the alternative pathway (AP) of complement with properdin having an instrumental role. Properdin is a positive regulator of the AP, which can bind necrotic cells as well as viable proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTECs), inducing complement activation. Various studies have indicated that in the circulation there is an unidentified inhibitor of properdin. We investigated the ability of C-reactive protein (CRP), both in its monomeric (mCRP) and pentameric (pCRP) form, to inhibit AP activation and injury in vitro on renal tubular cells by fluorescent microscopy, ELISA, and flow cytometry. We demonstrated that preincubation of properdin with normal human serum inhibits properdin binding to viable PTECs. We identified mCRP as a factor able to bind to properdin in solution, thereby inhibiting its binding to PTECs. In contrast, pCRP exhibited no such binding and inhibitory effect. Furthermore, mCRP was able to inhibit properdin-directed C3 and C5b-9 deposition on viable PTECs. The inhibitory ability of mCRP was not unique for viable cells but also demonstrated for binding to necrotic Jurkat cells, a target for properdin binding and complement activation. In summary, mCRP is an inhibitor of properdin in both binding to necrotic cells and viable renal cells, regulating complement activation on the cell surface. We propose that mCRP limits amplification of tissue injury by controlling properdin-directed complement activation by damaged tissue and cells.
- alternative pathway
- C-reactive protein
- proximal tubular epithelial cell
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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