Complement activation and diabetic vascular complications

Jakob Østergaard, Troels Krarup Hansen, Steffen Thiel, Allan Flyvbjerg

67 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes mellitus is a major and increasing health problem worldwide. One of the most serious consequences of diabetes is the development of diabetic angiopathy, which includes cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy alone affects 15-25% of patients with type 1 diabetes and 30-40% of patients with type 2 diabetes and is the single-most important cause of end-stage renal failure in the Western World. Existing research has demonstrated the involvement of glycation factors, growth factors/cytokines, hemodynamic factors and intracellular changes in the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease. An emerging amount of recent data suggests that the complement system, especially the MBL pathway, plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular complications. Although the numerous therapeutic interventions available today may delay the development and progression of diabetes vascular complications, there is an ongoing need for new therapeutic strategies. In this article the evidence for a connection between the complement system and vascular dysfunction will be reviewed, with a special focus on the relation to diabetic kidney disease. Several ways of specifically manipulating the complement system already exist. However, whether or not these drugs provide new targets for intervention on diabetic vascular complications is still unknown.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)10-9
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Complement Activation
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Myocardium
  • Vascular Diseases
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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