Anionic vesicles containing acidic phospholipids are known complement activators. To clarify which negative physicochemical electrostatic charges on vesicles and structural specificities of acidic lipids are critical to complement activation, the electrostatic properties and activity to complement of two anionic vesicles modified with a carboxylic acid derivative or a conventional acidic phospholipid were compared. Electrophoretic mobility measurements indicated that the negative zeta potential and the electrostatic interactivity of these two anionic vesicles were equal at pH 7.4. However, the infusion of vesicles containing acidic phospholipid induced significant complement activation, while vesicles containing the carboxylic acid derivative failed to activate complement. These results indicate that the negative charge on the surface of vesicles is not critical for the activation complement, suggesting that complement activation is specific to the structure of acidic groups. This finding is likely to be important to the design of anionic biointerfaces and may support the promising medical applications of this anionic vesicle modified with a carboxylic acid derivative.
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