Antimicrobial peptides are present in immune and host defense cells of the human respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.

Department of Anatomy, Chair II, Ludwig Maximilian University, 80336 München, Germany.
Cell and Tissue Research (Impact Factor: 3.68). 07/2006; 324(3):449-56. DOI: 10.1007/s00441-005-0127-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous studies have implicated antimicrobial peptides in the host defense of the mammalian intestinal and respiratory tract. The aim of the present study has been to characterize further the expression of these molecules in non-epithelial cells of the human pulmonary and digestive systems by detailed immunohistochemical analysis of the small and large bowel and of the large airways and lung parenchyma. Additionally, cells obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage were analyzed by fluorescent activated cell sorting and immunostaining of cytospin preparations. hBD-1, hBD-2, and LL-37 were detected in lymphocytes and macrophages in the large airways, lung parenchyma, duodenum, and colon. Lymphocytes positive for the peptides revealed a staining pattern and distribution that largely matched that of CD3-positive and CD8-positive T-cells. Macrophages with positive staining for the antimicrobial peptides also stained positively for CD68 and CD74. In view of the morphology of the LL-37-positive and hBD-2-positive mucosal lymphocytes, they are probably also B-cells. Thus, antimicrobial peptides of the defensin and cathelicidin families are present in a variety of non-epithelial cells of mucosal organs. These findings confirm that antimicrobial peptides have multiple functions in the biology of the mucosa of these organs.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pneumococcal carriage is both immunising and a pre-requisite for mucosal and systemic disease. Murine models of pneumococcal colonisation show that IL-17A-secreting CD4(+) T-cells (Th-17 cells) are essential for clearance of pneumococci from the nasopharynx. Pneumococcal-responding IL-17A-secreting CD4(+) T-cells have not been described in the adult human lung and it is unknown whether they can be elicited by carriage and protect the lung from pneumococcal infection. We investigated the direct effect of experimental human pneumococcal nasal carriage (EHPC) on the frequency and phenotype of cognate CD4(+) T-cells in broncho-alveolar lavage and blood using multi-parameter flow cytometry. We then examined whether they could augment ex vivo alveolar macrophage killing of pneumococci using an in vitro assay. We showed that human pneumococcal carriage leads to a 17.4-fold (p = 0.007) and 8-fold (p = 0.003) increase in the frequency of cognate IL-17A(+) CD4(+) T-cells in BAL and blood, respectively. The phenotype with the largest proportion were TNF(+)/IL-17A(+) co-producing CD4(+) memory T-cells (p<0.01); IFNγ(+) CD4(+) memory T-cells were not significantly increased following carriage. Pneumococci could stimulate large amounts of IL-17A protein from BAL cells in the absence of carriage but in the presence of cognate CD4(+) memory T-cells, IL-17A protein levels were increased by a further 50%. Further to this we then show that alveolar macrophages, which express IL-17A receptors A and C, showed enhanced killing of opsonised pneumococci when stimulated with rhIL-17A (p = 0.013). Killing negatively correlated with RC (r = -0.9, p = 0.017) but not RA expression. We conclude that human pneumococcal carriage can increase the proportion of lung IL-17A-secreting CD4(+) memory T-cells that may enhance innate cellular immunity against pathogenic challenge. These pathways may be utilised to enhance vaccine efficacy to protect the lung against pneumonia.
    PLoS Pathogens 03/2013; 9(3):e1003274. · 8.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Production of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide gene (hCAP18/LL-37), is regulated by 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3) and is critical in the killing of pathogens by innate immune cells. In addition, secreted LL-37 binds extracellular receptors and modulates the recruitment and activity of both innate and adaptive immune cells. Evidence suggests that during infections activated immune cells locally produce increased levels of 1,25D3 thus increasing production of hCAP18/LL-37. The relative expression levels of hCAP18/LL-37 among different immune cell types are not well characterized. The aim of this study was to determine the relative levels of hCAP18/LL-37 in human peripheral blood immune cells and determine to what extent 1,25D3 increased its expression in peripheral blood-derived cells. We show for the first time, a hierarchy of expression of hCAP18 in freshly isolated cells with low levels in lymphocytes, intermediate levels in monocytes and the highest levels found in neutrophils. In peripheral blood-derived cells, the highest levels of hCAP18 following treatment with 1,25D3 were in macrophages, while comparatively lower levels were found in GM-CSF-derived dendritic cells and osteoclasts. We also tested whether treatment with parathyroid hormone in combination with 1,25D3 would enhance hCAP18 induction as has been reported in skin cells, but we did not find enhancement in any immune cells tested. Our results indicate that hCAP18 is expressed at different levels according to cell type and lineage. Furthermore, potent induction of hCAP18 by 1,25D3 in macrophages and dendritic cells may modulate functions of both innate and adaptive immune cells at sites of infection.
    The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 01/2014; · 3.98 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Conclusion: The capability of Nod1 to recognize bacteria along with its altered expression and ability to cause an immunological response in head and neck cancer suggest a novel pathway for bacteria to interfere with ongoing cancer inflammation. Objective: Nucleotide oligomerization domain (Nod)-like receptors (NLRs) comprise a recently discovered family of pattern-recognition receptors. In addition to their protective function against infections, accumulating evidence suggests a role for these receptors in various diseases, including cancer. The present study was designed to explore the presence of NLRs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and to determine if these cells have the ability to respond immunologically to ligand stimulation. Methods: The pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma cell lines Detroit-562 and FaDu were used as a model for head and neck cancer, and compared to healthy primary human nasal epithelial cells. Analyses were performed using immunohistochemistry, real-time RT-PCR, Luminex Multiplex Immunoassay, ELISA, and flow cytometry. Results: The expression profile of NLRs in head and neck cancer cells differed from that seen in healthy epithelial cells. Further, Nod1 stimulation induced an immunological response in tumor cells that differed from the response in normal epithelial cells, especially regarding the expression of β-defensin 2, granulocyte monocyte colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and cell survival.
    Acta oto-laryngologica 09/2013; · 0.98 Impact Factor