K. Frank Austen, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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The classical complement system consists of a group of nine distinct serum proteins that interact sequentially to mediate certain effects of antigen-antibody reactions. In addition, there is an alternate pathway for activation of the terminal six proteins of this reaction sequence. Whereas activation of the classical pathway may be more evident in certain clinical circumstances, activation by the alternate route predominates under others. In either event, this effector system of the inflammatory response is characterized by a positive feedback leading to amplification of the inflammatory response. Whereas genetic deletions of a protein in this reaction sequence are not necessarily associated
Austen KF. Complement in Human Diseases.. Ann Intern Med. ;76:853. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-76-5-853_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1972;76(5):853.
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