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J Immunol. 2007 Jul 15;179(2):984-92.

IL-4 and IL-13 negatively regulate TNF-alpha- and IFN-gamma-induced beta-defensin expression through STAT-6, suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-1, and SOCS-3.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunologia and Allergology, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata-Instituti di Recovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Roma, Italy.


Human beta-defensins (HBDs) are a major class of antimicrobial peptides that play an important role in the innate immune response, however, the induction and regulation of these antimicrobial peptides is not well understood. We demonstrate here that stimulation of keratinocytes with TNF-alpha/IFN-gamma induces HBD-2 and HBD-3 by activating STAT-1 and NF-kappaB signaling. We further demonstrate that IL-4 and IL-13 activate STAT-6 and induce the suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-1 and -3. This interferes with STAT-1 and NF-kappaB signaling, thereby inhibiting TNF-alpha/IFN-gamma-mediated induction of HBD-2 and HBD-3. These data suggest that targeting the STAT-1-signaling pathway or suppressor of cytokine signaling expression enhances beta-defensin expression and represents a new therapeutic strategy for reduction of infection in human diseases associated with beta-defensin deficiency.

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