Send to

Choose Destination
J Innate Immun. 2012;4(4):361-70. doi: 10.1159/000336630. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Cationic host defence peptides: multifaceted role in immune modulation and inflammation.

Author information

Manitoba Centre for Proteomics and Systems Biology, Departments of Internal Medicine and Immunology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man., Canada.


Host defence peptides (HDPs) are innate immune effector molecules found in diverse species. HDPs exhibit a wide range of functions ranging from direct antimicrobial properties to immunomodulatory effects. Research in the last decade has demonstrated that HDPs are critical effectors of both innate and adaptive immunity. Various studies have hypothesized that the antimicrobial property of certain HDPs may be largely due to their immunomodulatory functions. Mechanistic studies revealed that the role of HDPs in immunity is very complex and involves various receptors, signalling pathways and transcription factors. This review will focus on the multiple functions of HDPs in immunity and inflammation, with special reference to cathelicidins, e.g. LL-37, certain defensins and novel synthetic innate defence regulator peptides. We also discuss emerging concepts of specific HDPs in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, including the potential use of cationic peptides as therapeutics for immune-mediated inflammatory disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center