Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Immunology and Inflammation

Head of Department, Director of Bioservices



+44 (0)20 3313 2316m.botto Website




Miss Claudia Rocchi +44 (0)20 3313 2315




9N10Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus






Marina Botto FMedSci is Professor of Rheumatology, Head of the Department of Immunology and Inflammation and Director of Bioservices at Imperial College London. She is also a Consultant Rheumatologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust at the Hammersmith Campus.

The focus of her research programme is to understand how complement deficiency contributes to the autoimmune disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Her laboratory is particularly interested in understanding the consequences of inherited complement deficiencies in humans and the role(s) that the complement system plays in the clearance of dying cells as well as immune complexes. Using in vivo models, genetic and cellular approaches and experimental models of inflammation she has demonstrated that: i) inherited defects in the pathways for clearance of cellular debris and immune complexes predispose to the development of SLE; ii) there is a link between spontaneous autoimmunity and abnormalities of the physiological clearance of apoptotic cells in humans with complement deficiency; iii) the complement system modulates the adaptive immune system; iv) autoimmunity varies according to the genetic background of the model used and identified lupus susceptibility loci. The laboratory currently aims to delineate the contribution of complement system in the induction and resolution of inflammation and to define the mechanisms by which the complement system regulates the tolerance to self-antigens.



C1q restrains autoimmunity and viral infection by regulating CD8 T cell metabolism. Ling GS, Crawford G, Buang N, Bartok I, Tian K, Thielens NM, Bally I, Harker JA, Ashton-Rickardt PG, Rutschmann S, Strid J, Botto M. Science, Vol:360, Pages:558-563, 2018

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Complement C1q activates canonical Wnt signalling and promotes aging-related phenotypes. Naito AT, Sumida T, Nomura S, Liu ML, Higo T, Nakagawa A, Okada K, Sakai T, Hashimoto A, Hara Y, Shimizu I, Zhu W, Toko H, Katada A, Akazawa H, Oka T, Lee JK, Minamino T, Nagai T, Walsh K, Kikuchi A, Matsumoto M, Botto M, Shiojima I, Komuro I. Cell. 149(6):1298-313, 2012

Distinct roles for complement in glomerulonephritis and atherosclerosis revealed in mice with a combination of lupus and hyperlipidemia. Lewis MJ, Malik TH, Fossati-Jimack L, Carassiti D, Cook HT, Haskard DO, Botto M. Arthritis Rheum. 64(8):2707-18, 2012

Antibodies to human serum amyloid P component eliminate visceral amyloid deposits. Bodin K, Ellmerich S, Kahan MC, Tennent GA, Loesch A, Gilbertson JA, Hutchinson WL, Mangione PP, Gallimore JR, Millar DJ, Minogue S, Dhillon AP, Taylor GW, Bradwell AR, Petrie A, Gillmore JD, Bellotti V, Botto M, Hawkins PN, Pepys MB. Nature 468(7320):93-7, 2010

The alternative pathway is critical for pathogenic complement activation in endotoxin- and diet-induced atherosclerosis in low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice. Malik TH, Cortini A, Carassiti D, Boyle JJ, Haskard DO, Botto M. Circulation 122(19):1948-56, 2010

Mice lacking C1q or C3 show accelerated rejection of minor H disparate skin grafts and resistance to induction of tolerance. Baruah P, Simpson E, Dumitriu IE, Derbyshire K, Coe D, Addey C, Dyson J, Chai JG, Cook T, Scott D, Botto M. Eur J Immunol. 40(6):1758-1767, 2010

Immunoglobulin M is Required for Protection Against Atherosclerosis in Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Deficient Mice. Myles J Lewis, Talat H Malik, Michael R Ehrenstein, Joseph J Boyle, Marina Botto, and Dorian O Haskard. Circulation 120(5):417-26, 2009

C1q enhances IFN-{gamma} production by antigen specific T cells via the CD40 co-stimulatory pathway on dendritic cells. Baruah P, Dumitriu IE, Malik TH, Cook HT, Dyson J, Scott D, Simpson E, Botto M. Blood 113(15):3485-93, 2009

Regulation of B cell tolerance by 129-derived chromosome 1 loci in C57BL/6 mice. Fossati-Jimack L, Cortes-Hernandez J, Norsworthy PJ, Cook HT, Walport MJ, Botto M. Arthritis Rheum. 58(7):2131-2141, 2008

Spontaneous hemolytic uremic syndrome triggered by complement factor H lacking surface recognition domains. Pickering MC, de Jorge EG, Martinez-Barricarte R, , Recalde S, Garcia-Layana A, Rose KL, Moss J, Walport MJ, Cook HT, de Cordoba SR, Botto M. J Exp Med. 204:1249-56, 2007

Prevention of C5 activation ameliorates MPGN and heterologous nephritis in factor H-deficient mice. Pickering MC, Warren J, Rose KL, Carlucci F, Wang Y, Walport MJ, Cook HT and Botto M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103:9649-9654, 2006

Spontaneous autoimmunity in 129 and C57BL/6 mice-implications for autoimmunity described in gene-targeted mice. A.E. Bygrave, K.L. Rose, J. Cortes-Hernandez, J. Warren, R.J. Rigby, H.T. Cook, M.J. Walport, T.J. Vyse, M. Botto. PLoS Biol. 2:1081-1090, 2004

The classical pathway is the dominant complement pathway required for innate immunity to Streptococcus pneumoniae infection in mice. JS Brown, T Hussell, S Gilliland, DW Holden, JC Paton, MR Ehrenstein, MJ Walport, M Botto. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99: 16969-16974, 2002

A hierarchical role for classical pathway complement proteins in the clearance of apoptotic cells in vivo. Taylor PR., Carugati A, Fadok VA, Cook HT, Andrews M, Carroll MC, Savill JS, Henson P, Botto M, Walport MJ. J. Exp Med 192, 359-366, 2000

Homozygous C1q deficiency causes glomerulonephritis associated with multiple apoptotic bodies. M. Botto, C Dell’Agnola, AE Bygrave, M Thompson, HT Cook, F Petry, M Loos, PP Pandolfi, MJ Walport. Nature Genetics 19:56-59, 1998



Jackson WD, Giacomassi C, Ward S, et al., 2023, TLR7 activation at epithelial barriers promotes emergency myelopoiesis and lung antiviral immunity, Elife, Vol:12, ISSN:2050-084X

Gisby J, Buang N, Papadaki A, et al., 2022, Multi-omics identify falling LRRC15 as a COVID-19 severity marker and persistent pro-thrombotic signals in convalescence, Nature Communications, Vol:13, ISSN:2041-1723

McDonnell T, Amarnani R, Spicer C, et al., 2022, Antibodies to FXa and thrombin in patients with SLE differentially regulate C3 and C5 cleavage, Lupus Science & Medicine, Vol:9, ISSN:2053-8790

Belmonte B, Mangogna A, Gulino A, et al., 2022, Distinct Roles of Classical and Lectin Pathways of Complement in Preeclamptic Placentae, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:13, ISSN:1664-3224

Zhou L, Kong G, Palmisano I, et al., 2022, Reversible CD8 T cell-neuron cross-talk causes aging-dependent neuronal regenerative decline., Science, Vol:376, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:1-15

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