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The complement system is important for the host defence against infection as well as for the development of inflammatory diseases. Here we show that C1q/TNF-related protein 6 (CTRP6; gene symbol C1qtnf6) expression is elevated in mouse rheumatoid arthritis (RA) models. C1qtnf6 -/- mice are highly susceptible to induced arthritis due to enhanced complement activation, whereas C1qtnf6-transgenic mice are refractory. The Arthus reaction and the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis are also enhanced in C1qtnf6 -/- mice and C1qtnf6 -/- embryos are semi-lethal. We find that CTRP6 specifically suppresses the alternative pathway of the complement system by competing with factor B for C3(H 2 O) binding. Furthermore, treatment of arthritis-induced mice with intra-articular injection of recombinant human CTRP6 cures the arthritis. CTRP6 is expressed in human synoviocytes, and CTRP6 levels are increased in RA patients. These results indicate that CTRP6 is an endogenous complement regulator and could be used for the treatment of complement-mediated diseases.


  • Nature Communications

    Nature Communications (6), 8483, 2015-09-25

    Nature Publishing Group


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