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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 534291, 14 pages
Review Article

Complement Activation and Inhibition in Wound Healing

1Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands
2Department of Surgery, Bronovo Hospital, 2597 AX The Hague, The Netherlands
3Department of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Rämistrasse 100, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland
4Department of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands

Received 7 August 2012; Revised 5 December 2012; Accepted 7 December 2012

Academic Editor: Daniel Rittirsch

Copyright © 2012 Gwendolyn Cazander et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Complement activation is needed to restore tissue injury; however, inappropriate activation of complement, as seen in chronic wounds can cause cell death and enhance inflammation, thus contributing to further injury and impaired wound healing. Therefore, attenuation of complement activation by specific inhibitors is considered as an innovative wound care strategy. Currently, the effects of several complement inhibitors, for example, the C3 inhibitor compstatin and several C1 and C5 inhibitors, are under investigation in patients with complement-mediated diseases. Although (pre)clinical research into the effects of these complement inhibitors on wound healing is limited, available data indicate that reduction of complement activation can improve wound healing. Moreover, medicine may take advantage of safe and effective agents that are produced by various microorganisms, symbionts, for example, medicinal maggots, and plants to attenuate complement activation. To conclude, for the development of new wound care strategies, (pre)clinical studies into the roles of complement and the effects of application of complement inhibitors in wound healing are required.