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Curr Opin Immunol. 2001 Feb;13(1):89-95.

Antimicrobial peptides and proteins in the innate defense of the airway surface.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, 500 Eckstein Medical Research Building, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Recent studies have advanced our understanding of innate immune mechanisms that protect the airways and maintain a sterile lung. Multiple antimicrobial peptides and proteins have been identified in airway secretions and their roles are beginning to be established in animal models. Moreover, evidence for coupling between the innate and adaptive immune systems is beginning to emerge. The understanding of the innate airway defense system offers the opportunity for the development of novel therapeutic approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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