Receptors for complement C5a. The importance of C5aR and the enigmatic role of C5L2

Hyun Lee, Peter L. Whitfeld, Charles R. Mackay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Complement component C5a is one of the most potent inflammatory chemoattractants and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous inflammatory diseases. C5a binds two receptors, C5aR and C5L2. Most of the C5a functional effects occur through C5aR, and the pharmaceutical industry has focused on this receptor for the development of new anti-inflammatory therapies. We used a novel approach to generate and test therapeutics that target C5aR. We created human C5aR knock-in mice, and used neutrophils from these to immunize wild-type mice. This yielded high-affinity blocking mAbs to human C5aR. We tested these anti-human C5aR mAbs in mouse models of inflammation, using the human C5aR knock-in mice. These antibodies completely prevented disease onset and were also able to reverse established disease in the K/B × N arthritis model. The physiological role of the other C5a receptor, C5L2 is still unclear, and our studies with blocking mAbs to human C5L2 have failed to demonstrate a clear functional role in signaling to C5a. The development of effective mAbs to human C5aR is an alternative approach to drug development, for this highly attractive target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • C5a
  • C5aR
  • C5L2

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