Human complement C3 deficiency: Th1 induction requires T cell-derived complement C3a and CD46 activation

Arije Ghannam, Jean Luc Fauquert, Caroline Thomas, Claudia Kemper, Christian Drouet*

*Corresponding author for this work
53 Citations (Scopus)


Human T helper type 1 (Th1) responses are essential in defense. Although T cell receptor (TCR) and co-stimulator engagement are indispensable for T cell activation, stimulation of additional receptor pathways are also necessary for effector induction. For example, engagement of the complement regulator CD46 by its ligand C3b generated upon TCR activation is required for IFN-γ production as CD46-deficient patients lack Th1 responses. Utilizing T cells from two C3-deficient patients we demonstrate here that normal Th1 responses also depend on signals mediated by the anaphylatoxin C3a receptor (C3aR). Importantly, and like in CD46-deficient patients, whilst Th1 induction are impaired in C3-deficient patients in vitro, their Th2 responses are unaffected. Furthermore, C3-deficient CD4+ T cells present with reduced expression of CD25 and CD122, further substantiating the growing notion that complement fragments regulate interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) assembly and that disturbance of complement-guided IL-2R assembly contributes to aberrant Th1 effector responses. Lastly, sustained intrinsic production of complement fragments may participate in the Th1 contraction phase as both C3a and CD46 engagement regulate IL-10 co-expression in Th1 cells. These data suggest that C3aR and CD46 activation via intrinsic generation of their respective ligands is an integral part of human Th1 (but not Th2) immunity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 03.2014

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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