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J Clin Invest. Dec 1989; 84(6): 2017–2020.
PMCID: PMC304087

Monocyte-chemotactic activity of defensins from human neutrophils.


We investigated the monocyte-chemotactic activity of fractionated extracts of human neutrophil granules. Monocyte-chemotactic activity was found predominantly in the defensin-containing fraction of the neutrophil granules. Purified preparations of each of the three human defensins (HNP-1, HNP-2, HNP-3) were then tested. HNP-1 demonstrated significant chemotactic activity for monocytes: Peak activity was seen at HNP-1 concentrations of 5 X 10(-9) M and was 49 +/- 20% (mean +/- SE, n = 9) of that elicited by 10(-8) M FMLP. HNP-2 (peak activity at 5 X 10(-9) M) was somewhat less active, yielding 19 +/- 10% (n = 11). HNP-3 failed to demonstrate chemotactic activity. Checkerboard analysis of monocyte response to HNP-1 and HNP-2 confirmed that their activity was chemotactic rather than chemokinetic. Neutrophils demonstrated a low level of response to defensins but this reaction was primarily chemokinetic. Defensins may play a role in the recruitment of monocytes by neutrophils into inflammatory sites.

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