Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are endogenous antibiotics that directly affect microorganisms, and also have a variety of receptor-mediated functions. One such AMP, Tilapia piscidin 4 (TP4), was isolated from Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus
); TP4 has antibacterial effects and regulates the innate immune system. The aim of the present study was to characterize the role of TP4 in the regulation of wound closure in mice and proliferation of a keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT) and fibroblast cell line (Hs-68). In vitro
, TP4 stimulated cell proliferation and activated collagen I, collagen III, and keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) gene expression in Hs-68 cells, which induces keratin production by HaCaT cells. This effect was detectable at TP4 concentrations of 6.25 µg/mL in both cell lines. In vivo
, TP4 was found to be highly effective at combating peritonitis and wound infection caused by MRSA in mouse models, without inducing adverse behavioral effects or liver or kidney toxicity. Taken together, our results indicate that TP4 enhances the survival rate of mice infected with the bacterial pathogen MRSA through both antimicrobial and wound closure activities mediated by epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The peptide is likely involved in antibacterial processes and regulation of tissue homeostasis in infected wounds in mice. Overall, these results suggest that TP4 may be suitable for development as a novel topical agent for wound dressing.
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