Granulocyte aggregometry: A sensitive technique for the detection of C5a and complement activation

D. E. Hammerschmidt, T. K. Bowers, C. L. Lammi-Keefe, H. S. Jacob, P. R. Craddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that complement (C) activated plasma causes granulocyte (PMN) aggregation in vitro and that C5a is responsible. The C-induced aggregation of PMNs treated with cytochalasin-B (CB) is markedly enhanced and irreversible, and the magnitude of the response is proportional to the log (concentration of activated plasma), allowing use of this technique to detect C5a and hence C activation. To compare the sensitivity of granulocyte aggregometry to that of more standard methods of detecting C-activation, we produced graded C-activation in vitro by treating fresh serum with varying amounts of zymosan. Aggregometry was the most sensitive index of C-activation, detecting C-activation produced by 0.02 mg zymosan/ml of serum - one tenth that required to produce C-activation detectable by C3 immunoelectrophoresis (the next most sensitive technique). Granulocyte aggregometry may also be used to detect in vivo C-activation. We have found aggregation activity in plasmas from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, immune vasculitis, transfusion reactions, and other conditions associated with in vivo C-activation, but not in the plasmas of normal subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-902
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1980


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