Extracellular histones promote platelet aggregation and thrombosis; this is followed by induction of coagulation disorder, which results in exhaustion of coagulation factors. Complement component 5 (C5) is known to be associated with platelet aggregation and coagulation system activation. To date, the pathological mechanism underlying liver injury has remained unclear. Here, we investigated whether C5 promotes liver injury associated with histone-induced lethal thrombosis. C5-sufficient and C5-deficient mice received single tail vein injections of purified, unfractionated histones obtained from calf thymus (45-75 μg/g). Subsequently, the mice were monitored for survival for up to 72 h. Based on the survival data, the 45 μg/g dose was used for analysis of blood cell count, liver function, blood coagulation ability, and promotion of platelet aggregation and platelet/leukocyte aggregate (PLA) production by extracellular histones. C5-deficient mice were protected from lethal thrombosis and had milder thrombocytopenia, consumptive coagulopathy, and liver injury with embolism and lower PLA production than C5-sufficient mice. These results indicate that C5 is associated with coagulation disorders, PLA production, and embolism-induced liver injury. In conclusion, C5 promotes liver injury associated with histone-induced lethal thrombosis.
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