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Science. 1999 Oct 15;286(5439):525-8.

Beta-defensins: linking innate and adaptive immunity through dendritic and T cell CCR6.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation, Division of Basic Sciences, Intramural Research Support Program, SAIC Frederick, National Cancer Institute-Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Frederick, MD 21702-1201, USA.


Defensins contribute to host defense by disrupting the cytoplasmic membrane of microorganisms. This report shows that human beta-defensins are also chemotactic for immature dendritic cells and memory T cells. Human beta-defensin was selectively chemotactic for cells stably transfected to express human CCR6, a chemokine receptor preferentially expressed by immature dendritic cells and memory T cells. The beta-defensin-induced chemotaxis was sensitive to pertussis toxin and inhibited by antibodies to CCR6. The binding of iodinated LARC, the chemokine ligand for CCR6, to CCR6-transfected cells was competitively displaced by beta-defensin. Thus, beta-defensins may promote adaptive immune responses by recruiting dendritic and T cells to the site of microbial invasion through interaction with CCR6.

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