Myocarditis is a principal cause of heart disease among young adults and is often a precursor of heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy. We show here that complement is critical for the induction of experimental autoimmune myocarditis and that it acts through complement receptor type I (CR1) and type 2 (CR2). We also found a subset of CD44hiCD62Llo T cells that expresses CR1 and CR2 and propose that both receptors are involved in the expression of B and T cell activation markers, T cell proliferation and cytokine production. These findings provide a mechanism by which activated complement, a key product of the innate immune response, modulates the induction of an autoimmune disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy