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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(9), 3951-3970; doi:10.3390/ijms10093951
Review

Host Defense Peptides as Effector Molecules of the Innate Immune Response: A Sledgehammer for Drug Resistance?

1,* , 1
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1 Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany 2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Technische Universität München, Ismaninger Str. 22, München, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2009 / Revised: 17 August 2009 / Accepted: 9 September 2009 / Published: 9 September 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Agents)
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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: host defense peptides; sepsis; innate immunity; antimicrobial peptides; bacterial infection; inflammation host defense peptides; sepsis; innate immunity; antimicrobial peptides; bacterial infection; inflammation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Steinstraesser, L.; Kraneburg, U.M.; Hirsch, T.; Kesting, M.; Steinau, H.-U.; Jacobsen, F.; Al-Benna, S. Host Defense Peptides as Effector Molecules of the Innate Immune Response: A Sledgehammer for Drug Resistance? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 3951-3970.

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