Monitoring and modeling treatment of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome

Stefan Heinen, Fred G. Pluthero, Viola F. van Eimeren, Susan E. Quaggin, Christoph Licht*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), is mainly present in children, who have high risks of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), post-transplant recurrence and death. aHUS is linked to defective regulation of the complement alternative pathway (AP), with a prominent cause being mutation/inhibition of the negative regulator complement factor H (CFH). CFH function can be restored via infusion of fresh frozen plasma (FFP), a treatment that was effective for several years in a patient heterozygous for a cfh mutation, before the patient progressed to ESKD. While on dialysis, FFP was replaced with eculizumab, which blocks C5 cleavage and thus halts progression of the terminal complement pathway. Patient plasma samples collected during FFP and eculizumab treatment phases were assessed for AP activity (via erythrocyte lysis assays) and for overall complement activity (via ELISA-based screen). Assay results indicated that FFP partially restored AP regulation, an observation supported by in vitro modeling of FFP treatment using purified CFH, while eculizumab completely blocked complement activity. The same approach was used to model in vitro a potential aHUS treatment approach based on blocking the AP effector properdin (complement factor P; CFP) with an anti-properdin antibody. These results provide insights into the efficacy of aHUS treatment and highlight the usefulness of in vitro assays in monitoring and predicting therapeutic responses and testing new treatment possibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-88
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Complement
  • Eculizumab
  • Plasma
  • Properdin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology


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