During hemodialysis, alternative pathway complement activation leads to pulmonary sequestration of granulocytes, with loss of pulmonary vascular endothelial integrity and, at times, protein-rich pulmonary edema. An in vitro model of this phenomenon was constructed utilizing 51Cr-labeled human umbilical vein endothelial cell cultures. In this system, granulocytes, when exposed to activated complement (C), induce endothelial damage; this injury is mediated primarily by oxygen radicals produced by the granulocytes. C5a appears to be the C component responsible for granulocyte-induced cytotoxicity; studies with cytochalasin B-treated granulocytes suggest that close approximation of the granulocytes and endothelial cells is necessary for maximal cell injury.
T Sacks, C F Moldow, P R Craddock, T K Bowers, H S Jacob