Marsh JE. Pratt JR. Sacks SH., Targeting the complement system. Current Opinion in Nephrology & Hypertension. 8(5):557-62, 1999.
Interest has blossomed in the development of complement inhibitors, in parallel with a growth in our understanding of the biology of the complement cascade. The first generation of designed inhibitors was based on naturally occurring complement receptors and regulatory molecules. These agents provided useful tools for exploring the role of complement in experimental models of disease, but may have limited therapeutic application in humans because of their short half-lives, limited bioavailability and possible antigenicity. More recently, humanized antibodies and synthetic molecules that block the activation of complement have been developed, which look as though they may overcome some of these difficulties. The possibility for precision inhibition of a limited part of the complement cascade, or for inhibition confined to a single organ, may offer effective therapeutic results, while avoiding the disadvantages of nonselective complement blockade. This review examines the recent evidence that complement inhibition will reduce tissue damage resulting from organ transplantation, ischaemia-reperfusion injury, cancer, glomerulonephritis and the use of extracorporeal circuits.