• Human;
  • pregnancy;
  • complement activation;
  • split products

ABSTRACT: The plasma concentrations of the complement components C3 and C4, as well as the split products C3c and C3d, were measured before, during, and after normal pregnancy. Significantly increased values were observed in the C3 and C3d levels in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. The level of C4 was not significantly affected by pregnancy and C3c could not be detected using electroimmunoassays. These results suggest that the increased C3 split-product levels observed reflected an increased turnover of native C3 rather than activation of the complement cascade.