Next Article in Journal
A Universal Influenza Virus Vaccine Candidate Tested in a Pig Vaccination-Infection Model in the Presence of Maternal Antibodies
Next Article in Special Issue
Catestatin Regulates Epithelial Cell Dynamics to Improve Intestinal Inflammation
Previous Article in Journal
Zika Virus Vaccines: Challenges and Perspectives
Previous Article in Special Issue
β-Defensins Coordinate In Vivo to Inhibit Bacterial Infections of the Trachea
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Cathelicidins: Immunomodulatory Antimicrobials

Division Molecular Host Defence, Dept. Infectious diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 1, 3584 CL Utrecht, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally.
Vaccines 2018, 6(3), 63;
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
PDF [2461 KB, uploaded 17 September 2018]


Cathelicidins are host defense peptides with antimicrobial and immunomodulatory functions. These effector molecules of the innate immune system of many vertebrates are diverse in their amino acid sequence but share physicochemical characteristics like positive charge and amphipathicity. Besides being antimicrobial, cathelicidins have a wide variety in immunomodulatory functions, both boosting and inhibiting inflammation, directing chemotaxis, and effecting cell differentiation, primarily towards type 1 immune responses. In this review, we will examine the biology and various functions of cathelicidins, focusing on putting in vitro results in the context of in vivo situations. The pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory functions are highlighted, as well both direct and indirect effects on chemotaxis and cell differentiation. Additionally, we will discuss the potential and limitations of using cathelicidins as immunomodulatory or antimicrobial drugs. View Full-Text
Keywords: cathelicidins; host defense peptides; antimicrobials; immunomodulation; chemotaxis; adjuvants cathelicidins; host defense peptides; antimicrobials; immunomodulation; chemotaxis; adjuvants

Figure 1

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 (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Van Harten, R.M.; Van Woudenbergh, E.; Van Dijk, A.; Haagsman, H.P. Cathelicidins: Immunomodulatory Antimicrobials. Vaccines 2018, 6, 63.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Vaccines EISSN 2076-393X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top