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C Verhagen, R Hoekzema, A Kijlstra; Human corneal extract enhances serum complement activity.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1994;35(1):236-241.
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PURPOSE: The concomitant presence of complement-activation products in the cornea during inflammation is well described. The present study was undertaken to analyze the complement activity of normal human corneal tissue and to assess the presence of complement-modulating activities. METHODS: Human corneal tissue was extracted in veronal-buffered saline. The overall complement (C) activity of the human corneal extract (HCE) and the effect of HCE on serum C-activity were investigated using a hemolytic assay. Anion-exchange chromatography and gel filtration were applied for biochemical analysis of HCE. Monoclonal anti-human C3 was used to detect corneal C3 and to remove C3 from HCE by immunoadsorption. RESULTS: It was found that C-activity of HCE was less than 200 U/g tissue. Experiments to test whether HCE exhibited inhibitory activity led to an unexpected result: When added to human serum dilutions, HCE caused a significant, dose-dependent increase of C-activity. Pretreatment of HCE at 56 degrees C abolished the effect. Analysis of HCE by anion-exchange chromatography revealed two C-enhancing peaks. One peak was identified as C3 whereas the identity of the other protein peak remained unknown. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that the human cornea contains an as yet unidentified heat sensitive factor(s) able to enhance complement activity of serum. It is postulated that this factor(s) may play an important role in corneal physiology and pathology.
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