Elevated complement factor H levels in asthmatic sputa

Z. Weiszhár, A. Bikov, G. Gálffy, L. Tamási, I. Ungvári, C. Szalai, G. Losonczy, I. Horváth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The alternative pathway of the complement system is known to play a role in the generation of asthmatic airway inflammation, but its regulatory complement protein, factor H has not been investigated in this disease. Purpose Our aim was to determine the local bronchial complement factor H (CFH) levels in asthma, and to investigate its relationship with complement activation, systemic CFH concentrations and clinical characteristics of patients. Methods: Induced sputum and plasma were collected from 21 healthy and 26 asthmatic subjects, and complement factor H and SC5b-9 concentrations were assessed by ELISA. Total protein concentrations were determined by biuret-reaction based microassay system from induced sputa. Results: CFH was detectable in 81 % of healthy and 100 % of asthmatic subjects, while SC5b-9 exceeded the detection limit in 62 % of healthy subjects and 85 % of asthmatic patients. Sputum CFH concentrations and CFH/protein ratios were increased in samples from asthmatic patients, and correlated with loss of lung function, asthma control, severity and medication intensity, but not with plasma CFH concentrations. Sputum CFH/protein ratios were in positive correlation also with sputum eosinophilic cell counts in asthma. SC5b-9 concentrations were not higher in the asthmatic sputa, although they correlated with sputum CFH concentrations. Conclusions: CFH level is elevated on asthmatic airway surface, and may be associated with uncontrolled inflammation in asthma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-505
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of clinical immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Airway inflammation
  • Asthma control
  • Complement factor H
  • Induced sputum
  • Severe asthma
  • complement factor H
  • SC5b-9 protein
  • unclassified drug
  • adult
  • article
  • asthma
  • bronchus
  • clinical article
  • clinical feature
  • complement activation
  • complement blood level
  • controlled study
  • correlation analysis
  • disease control
  • disease severity
  • eosinophil count
  • female
  • human
  • limit of detection
  • lung function
  • male
  • priority journal
  • sputum
  • Adult
  • Asthma
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Complement Factor H
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sputum


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