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Mechanisms of complement activation by dextran-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoworms in mouse versus human serum

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Moein MoghimiORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2014 Banda et al. Background: The complement system is a key component of innate immunity implicated in the neutralization and clearance of invading pathogens. Dextran coated superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticle is a promising magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent. However, dextran SPIO has been associated with significant number of complement-related side effects in patients and some agents have been discontinued from clinical use (e.g., Feridex™). In order to improve the safety of these materials, the mechanisms of complement activation by dextran-coated SPIO and the differences between mice and humans need to be fully understood. Methods: 20 kDa dextran coated SPIO nanoworms (SPIO NW) were synthesized using Molday precipitation procedure. In vitro measurements of C3 deposition on SPIO NW using sera genetically deficient for various components of the classical pathway (CP), lectin pathway (LP) or alternative pathway (AP) components were used to study mechanisms of mouse complement activation. In vitro measurements of fluid phase markers of complement activation C4d and Bb and the terminal pathway marker SC5b-C9 in normal and genetically deficient sera were used to study the mechanisms of human complement activation. Mouse data were analyzed by non-paired t-test, human data were analyzed by ANOVA followed by multiple comparisons with Student-Newman-Keuls test. Results: In mouse sera, SPIO NW triggered the complement activation via the LP, whereas the AP contributes via the amplification loop. No involvement of the CP was observed. In human sera the LP together with the direct enhancement of the AP turnover was responsible for the complement activation. In two samples out of six healthy donors there was also a binding of anti-dextran antibodies and C1q, suggesting activation via the CP, but that did not affect the total level of C3 deposition on the particles. Conclusions: There were important differences and similarities in the complement activation by SPIO NW in mouse versus human sera. Understanding the mechanisms of immune recognition of nanoparticles in mouse and human systems has important preclinical and clinical implications and could help design more efficient and safe nano-formulations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Banda NK, Mehta G, Chao Y, Wang G, Inturi S, Fossati-Jimack L, Botto M, Wu L, Moghimi SM, Simberg D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Particle and Fibre Toxicology

Year: 2014

Volume: 11

Online publication date: 26/11/2014

Acceptance date: 08/11/2014

Date deposited: 15/09/2017

ISSN (electronic): 1743-8977

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s12989-014-0064-2

PubMed id: 25425420


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