Short summary of Pataky, R et al; Complement C5a is present in CSF of human newborns and is elevated in association with preterm birth. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016. Article can be downloaded here.


Preterm birth is strongly associated with a phenotype that includes brain injury and long-term neurodevelopmental and psychiatric impairments. Inflammation is a major contributor to injury but the mediators and receptors involved are uncertain. The four complement pathways all result in the production of C5a, a potent anaphylatoxin that binds to receptor C5aR to induce a range of inflammatory activities. The aim of this study is to determine whether C5a is present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of newborns. CSF for C5a measurement (Cat. # HK349) was obtained from 20 control infants and 17 preterm neonates. The results indicated that C5a was present in the CSF of preterm and term infants, but values were significantly higher in preterms compared with controls. The results imply evidence of a perinatal inflammatory response in CSF […] with a significant increase of C5a in preterm infants. Complement activation in the neonatal brain and its role as a potential therapeutic target in preterm brain injury warrant further study.