Targeting Complement Pathways in Polytrauma- and Sepsis-Induced Multiple-Organ Dysfunction

Ebru Karasu, Bo Nilsson, Jörg Köhl, John D Lambris, Markus Huber-Lang
Frontiers in Immunology 2019, 10: 543
Exposure to traumatic or infectious insults results in a rapid activation of the complement cascade as major fluid defense system of innate immunity. The complement system acts as a master alarm system during the molecular danger response after trauma and significantly contributes to the clearance of DAMPs and PAMPs. However, depending on the origin and extent of the damaged macro- and micro -milieu, the complement system can also be either excessively activated or inhibited. In both cases, this can lead to a maladaptive immune response and subsequent multiple cellular and organ dysfunction. The arsenal of complement-specific drugs offers promising strategies for various critical conditions after trauma, hemorrhagic shock, sepsis, and multiple organ failure. The imbalanced immune response needs to be detected in a rational and real-time manner before the translational therapeutic potential of these drugs can be fully utilized. Overall, the temporal-spatial complement response after tissue trauma and during sepsis remains somewhat enigmatic and demands a clinical triad: reliable tissue damage assessment, complement activation monitoring, and potent complement targeting to highly specific rebalance the fluid phase innate immune response.

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