Human astrocytes express membrane cofactor protein (CD46), a regulator of complement activation

David L. Gordon, Tania A. Sadlon, Steve L. Wesselingh, Sarah M. Russell, Ricky W. Johnstone, Damian F J Purcell

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Expression of membrane cofactor protein (CD46) on cultured human astrocytes was demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry following staining with a monoclonal antibody specific for CD46. Western transfer and immunoblotting detected a doublet of Mr 66,000 and 56,000. Analysis of astrocyte mRNA revealed the presence of multiple alternatively spliced transcripts encoding different extracellular regions or cytoplasmic tails of CD46. Astrocytes were also shown to express decay accelerating factor, but not the type 1 complement receptor. Upregulation of astrocyte CD46 occurred following cytomegalovirus infection. These results indicate that astrocytes express proteins involved in regulation of complement activation and protection against autologous complement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jan 1992


  • Astrocyte
  • Complement
  • Membrane cofactor protein
  • Regulator of complement activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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