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Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Sep 9;10(9):3951-70. doi: 10.3390/ijms10093951.

Host defense peptides as effector molecules of the innate immune response: a sledgehammer for drug resistance?

Author information

1
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. lars.steinstraesser@ruhr-uni-bochum.de <lars.steinstraesser@ruhr-uni-bochum.de>

Abstract

Host defense peptides can modulate the innate immune response and boost infection-resolving immunity, while dampening potentially harmful pro-inflammatory (septic) responses. Both antimicrobial and/or immunomodulatory activities are an integral part of the process of innate immunity, which itself has many of the hallmarks of successful anti-infective therapies, namely rapid action and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities. This gives these peptides the potential to become an entirely new therapeutic approach against bacterial infections. This review details the role and activities of these peptides, and examines their applicability as development candidates for use against bacterial infections.

KEYWORDS:

antimicrobial peptides; bacterial infection; host defense peptides; inflammation; innate immunity; sepsis

PMID:
19865528
PMCID:
PMC2769137
DOI:
10.3390/ijms10093951
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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