Complement has long been regarded as a pivotal effector arm of the innate im-mune response, eliciting important immunoregulatory functions in the context of inflammation and also serving as a vital link between the innate and adaptive immune response. In the post-genomic era, our knowledge of the innate immune system is enriched by findings that point to novel functions that do not strictly correlate with immunological defense and surveillance, immune modulation or inflammation. Several studies indicate that complement proteins exert functions that are either more complex than previously thought, or go well beyond the innate immune character of the system. The advent of high-throughput platforms for genome and proteome-wide profiling, together with the enormous amount of raw genetic information that has accumulated in the databases, have stirred new expectations in biomedical research. They have led complementologists to revisit established biological systems, such as the complement system, from a global and integrative perspec-tive. Complement research is now faced with the challenge of trying to integrate isolated biochemical pathways into complex gene and protein regulatory cir-cuits. In this respect, scientists from around the world convened at the Third Aegean Conferences Workshop on Complement Associated Diseases, Animal Models, and Therapeutics (June 5-10, 2005), to discuss recent advances in this fast evolving field. This volume represents a collection of topics on the "novel" functions of complement, pathophysiology, protein structures, design of complement inhibitors, and complement assays discussed during the conference. TOC:Introduction.- Cross-Disciplinary Research Stirs New Challenges into the Study of the Structure, Function and Systems Biology of Complement.- Liver Regeneration: A Link to Inflammation through Complement.- The Role of Third Complement Component (C3) in Homing of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells into Bone Marrow.- Complement System and the Eye.- To Regeneration ... With Complement.- Self, Non-Self and Danger: A Complementary View.- gC1qR/p33 Serves as a Molecular Bridge between the Complement and Contact Activation Systems and Is an Important Catalyst in Inflammation.- Possible Immunoprotective and Angiogenesis-Promoting Roles for Malignant Cell-Derived Prostasomes: A New Paradigm for Prostatic Cancer?- Diversified Components of the Bony Fish Complement System: More Genes for Robuster Innate Defense?- C5b-9 Complement Complex in Autoimmune Demyelination: Dual Role in Neuroinflammation and Neuroprotection.- The Double-Edged Flower: Roles of Complement Protein C1q in Neurodegenerative Diseases.- The Role of the Complement System in the Pathogenesis of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis and Multiple Sclerosis.- The Complement System: A Potential Target for Stroke Therapy.- Observations on Complement Activity in the Two-Stage Inflammatory/Hemostatic Response in the Baboon and Human Models of E. Coli Sepsis and Endotoxemia.- Complement Activation during Sepsis in Humans.- Three Distinct Profiles of Serum Complement C4 Proteins in Pediatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Patients: Tight Associations of Complement C4 and C3 Protein Levels in SLE but not in Healthy Subjects.- A Minimum CR2 Binding Domain of C3d Enhances Immunity following Vaccination.- Structure and Function of Ficolins.- Role of Mannose-Binding Lectin (MBL2) Genotyping in Predicting the Risk of Recurrent Otitis Media (rOM).- Conformational Complexity of Complement Component C3.- Disease-Associated Sequence Variations in Factor H: A Structural Biology Approach.- Transdermal Pharmacology of Small Molecule Cyclic C5a Antagonists.- Inactivation of Complement by Recombinant Human.- Complement Analysis in Clinic and Research.- Cell-Bound Complement Activation Products (CB-CAPs).
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