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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Apr;64(7-8):922-33.

Cationic host defence peptides: innate immune regulatory peptides as a novel approach for treating infections.

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Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


An increase in antibiotic resistance and the emergence of new pathogens has led to an urgent need for alternative approaches to infection management. Immunomodulatory molecules that do not target the pathogen directly, but rather selectively enhance and/or alter host defence mechanisms, are attractive candidates for therapeutic development. Natural cationic host defence peptides represent lead molecules that boost innate immune responses and selectively modulate pathogen-induced inflammatory responses. This review discusses recent evidence exploring the mechanisms of cationic host defence peptides as innate immune regulators, their role in the interface of innate and adaptive immunity, and their potential application as beneficial therapeutics in overcoming infectious diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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