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Last updated: 13
|Amniotic fluid defensins: potential markers of subclinical intrauterine infection.|
Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Sep;27(3):513-8.
Human neutrophil peptides 1-3 (defensins) are granule constituents released from activated neutrophils. We hypothesized that amniotic fluid (AF) defensin levels are elevated in preterm labor (PTL) patients with subclinical intrauterine infection (IUI). AF samples were obtained from 203 pregnant patients with varying clinical characteristics. Defensin levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Median AF defensin levels were fourfold to 24-fold higher in patients with IUI than in preterm and term controls. Among patients with subclinical IUI, the degree of AF defensin elevation was greater in those with a positive AF culture. AF defensin levels increased exponentially with increasing severity of histologic chorioamnionitis. An AF defensin level of > 2,500 ng/mL identified 88% of patients with a positive AF culture, whereas a level of > 400 ng/mL identified 85% of all infected patients. AF defensin levels accurately identify patients with subclinical IUI, as defined by a positive AF culture or placental histology.
|Isolation of human intestinal defensins from ileal neobladder urine.|
FEBS Lett. 1998 Sep 4;434(3):272-6.
We describe the isolation of naturally occurring human intestinal defensins HD-5 and HD-6 from ileal neobladder urine and ileal mucosa. Using an antibody-based detection assay, we found multiple N-terminally processed forms of HD-5. The predominant HD-5 forms in tissue were longer than those in neobladder urine (amino acid (aa) 23-94 and 29-94 versus aa 36-94, 56-94 and 63-94) suggesting that Paneth cells store prodefensin that is processed to mature defensin during or after degranulation. Search for mature HD-6 yielded aa 69-100 as the predominant form in both sources. The ileal neobladder is a promising model to study human Paneth cell secretion.
|Identification of human beta-defensin-2 in respiratory tract and plasma and its increase in bacterial pneumonia.|
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Aug 28;249(3):943-7.
Human beta-defensin-2 (hBD-2), a novel antimicrobial peptide, was originally isolated from human skin. We found that synthetic hBD-2 has high bactericidal activity against Escherichia coli under conditions nearly the same as in human bronchial airway surface liquid. We prepared an antiserum against hBD-2 and established a highly sensitive radioimmunoassay (RIA). Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with the RIA showed that hBD-2 in patients with human lung, bronchoalveolar lavage flid, and plasma. The plasma concentration of hBD-2 in patients with bacterial pneumonia was 32.1 +/- 3.7 fmol/ml (mean +/- SE), 3.9-fold that of normal individuals. By reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, the hBD-2 gene transcript was detected in the respiratory epithelial surface of human lung. Human beta-defensin-2 seems to function in airway mucosal defense. Our findings provide a clue to elucidate its pathophysiological significance in respiratory infection.
|Antibacterial peptides in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.|
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1998 Sep;19(3):352-6.
Defensins and other antimicrobial peptides act in the innate host defense of epithelial surfaces. Human beta defensin 1 (hBD-1) has recently been shown to be expressed in airway epithelial cells and so has been implicated as a primary component of antibacterial activity in human lung. We attempted to purify these molecules from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Extraction of BALF on SepPak C-18 cartridges, followed by continuous acid-urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography yielded one fraction with antibacterial activity associated with factors of < 6.5 kD. N-terminal amino acid sequencing identified these peptides as human neutrophil defensins (HD) 1 through 3. No hBD-1 was detected. Together with lysozyme, it appears that HD-1 through -3 are the most prominent antimicrobial factors in BALF. The contribution of epithelial defensins such as hBD-1 to antibacterial defense of human airway in vivo remains to be elucidated.
|Expression of the peptide antibiotic human beta-defensin 1 in cultured gingival epithelial cells and gingival tissue.|
Infect Immun. 1998 Sep;66(9):4222-8.
Human beta-defensin-1 (hBD-1) is a member of the family of small cationic antimicrobial peptides that have been identified in several mucosal epithelia. Because human gingival epithelium is a site that is constantly challenged by oral microorganisms, we examined the expression of hBD-1 in human gingival epithelial and fibroblast cell cultures and tissue samples. Cell cultures were challenged with cell wall extracts of Porphyromonas gingivalis or Fusobacterium nucleatum, Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide, tumor necrosis factor alpha, or phorbol myristate acetate. hBD-1 mRNA was detected in unstimulated and stimulated cultures by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR using several primer sets specific for hBD-1. Gingival epithelial cells, but not gingival fibroblasts, expressed a product of the predicted size for hBD-1 mRNA. The sequence of the PCR product was identical to that of hBD-1. hBD-1 mRNA expression was not significantly modulated by any of the stimulants tested. Human gingival tissues from noninflamed and inflamed sites were also analyzed by RT-PCR. hBD-1 mRNA was expressed in all tissue samples. The relative expression of hBD-1 mRNA was similar in noninflamed and inflamed tissues obtained from each of four patients undergoing treatment for periodontitis. However, the relative expression of hBD-1 mRNA varied in gingival biopsies obtained from 15 different normal individuals, and the relative hBD-1 expression was unrelated to interleukin-8 expression. Our findings show the constitutive expression of hBD-1 mRNA in cultured epithelial cells and gingival tissues but not gingival fibroblasts. These findings suggest that expression of hBD-1 may play a role as part of the innate host defenses in maintaining normal gingival health.
|Enteric defensin expression in necrotizing enterocolitis.|
Pediatr Res. 1998 Jul;44(1):20-6.
Immaturity of local innate defenses has been suggested as a factor involved in the pathophysiology of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The mRNA of enteric human defensins 5 (HD5) and 6 (HD6), antibiotic peptides expressed in Paneth cells of the small intestine, have significantly lower levels of expression in fetal life compared with the term newborn and adult. In the current study, intracellular HD5 was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry at 24 wk of gestation, but at low levels, consistent with findings at the mRNA level. These data suggest that the low level enteric defensin expression, characteristic of normal intestinal development, may contribute to the immaturity of local defense, which predisposes the premature infant to NEC. To test if levels of defensin expression are altered in NEC, specimens from six cases of patients with NEC and five control subjects (four patients with atresia and one with meconium ileus) were analyzed to determine HD5 and HD6 mRNA levels by in situ hybridization. Compared with the control group, the level of enteric defensin expression per Paneth cell assessed by image analysis was increased 3-fold in cases of NEC (p = 0.02, analysis of variance and covariance). In addition, the number of Paneth cells was increased 2-fold in the small intestinal crypts of NEC specimens compared with those of control subjects (p < 0.01, covariance analysis). In healthy tissue, peptide levels within Paneth cells paralleled mRNA levels through development. In tissue from infants with NEC, the steady state level of intracellular peptide was not increased in conjunction with the observed rise in defensin mRNA. A straightforward interpretation of this finding is that HD5 is actively secreted in this setting and the Paneth cells maintain a constant steady state level of intracellular peptide, but the possibility of translational regulation of peptide expression is also consistent with these data. The associations between NEC and enteric defensin expression reported here offer support for future studies to address the role of these endogenous host defense factors in the pathophysiology of this disease.
|Gene expression, immunolocalization, and secretion of human defensin-5 in human female reproductive tract.|
Am J Pathol. 1998 May;152(5):1247-58.
This study describes the novel localization of the antimicrobial peptide human intestinal defensin-5 (HD-5) in female genital tract epithelia. Using a 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) protocol, HD-5 was cloned from a vaginal epithelial cell RNA preparation, and its identity was confirmed by sequencing. Tissue samples from multiple donors were subsequently screened for HD-5 expression by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. HD-5 message was invariantly expressed by normal vagina and ectocervix and inflamed fallopian tube, but variably expressed by normal endocervix, endometrium, and fallopian tube (60, 64, and 29% of specimens, respectively). Expression in endometrium was the highest during the early secretory phase of the menstrual cycle. Using immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy, HD-5 peptide was localized in the upper half of the stratified squamous epithelium of the vagina and ectocervix, with the intensity of cellular staining increasing toward the lumen. In positive endocervix, endometrium, and fallopian tube specimens, HD-5 was located in apically oriented granules and on the apical surface of a proportion of columnar epithelial cells. Using Western blot analysis, secreted HD-5 was detected in cervicovaginal lavages, with the highest concentrations found during the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle. We hypothesize that HD-5 is an intrinsic component of the female urogenital innate immune defense system and that its expression may be modulated by hormonal and proinflammatory factors.
|Elevated concentrations of defensins in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in diffuse panbronchiolitis.|
Eur Respir J. 1998 Jan;11(1):104-11.
Human neutrophils contain three isoforms of antimicrobial and cytotoxic peptides in the azurophil granules, which belong to a family of mammalian neutrophil peptides named defensins. Here we investigate the role of these peptides in diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB). Defensins (human neutrophil peptide-1, -2 and -3) were measured by radioimmunoassay in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of 30 patients with DPB, 16 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and 15 healthy adults. The concentration of defensins was higher in BALF of patients with DPB than in patients with IPF and healthy subjects. DPB and IPF patients also had significantly higher plasma concentrations of defensins than controls. In patients with DPB, BALF concentration of defensins correlated significantly with neutrophil count or BALF concentration of interleukin (IL)-8. Immunohistochemistry of open-lung biopsy specimens from four DPB patients showed localization of defensins in neutrophils and mucinous exudate in the airways, and on the surface of bronchiolar epithelial cells. In vitro studies showed an enhanced extracellular release of defensins following stimulation of neutrophils with phorbol myristate acetate, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenyalamine, and human recombinant IL-8. Treatment of DPB with macrolides for 6 months significantly reduced neutrophil count and concentrations of defensins and IL-8 in BALF. Our results indicate accumulation of neutrophil-derived defensins in the airway in diffuse panbronchiolitis, and suggest that defensins may be a marker of neutrophil activity in this disease.
|Human beta-defensin-1: an antimicrobial peptide of urogenital tissues.|
J Clin Invest. 1998 Apr 15;101(8):1633-42.
Antimicrobial peptides are widely distributed mediators of innate host defense in animals and plants. A 36 amino acid antimicrobial peptide belonging to the defensin family, and named human beta-defensin-1 (HBD-1), was purified recently from hemodialysate fluid, but its tissue sources were not identified. By Northern blotting, we found the highest concentrations of HBD-1 mRNA in the kidney and the female reproductive tract. In situ hybridization localized the HBD-1 mRNA in the epithelial layers of the loops of Henle, distal tubules, and the collecting ducts of the kidney and the epithelial layers of the vagina, ectocervix, endocervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in the female reproductive tract. Using a novel technique designed to detect cationic peptides in urine, we recovered several forms of HBD-1 ranging in length from 36 to 47 amino acid (aa) residues and differing from each other by amino terminal truncation. The total concentration of HBD-1 forms in voided urine was estimated at 10-100 microg/liter, with individual variations in the total amount of HBD-1 peptides and the relative proportion of HBD-1 forms. Multiple forms of HBD-1 (size 36-47 aa) were also found in the blood plasma, bound to carrier macromolecules that released the peptide under acid conditions, and in vaginal mucosal secretions (39, 40, and 44 aa). By immunostaining, HBD-1 was located in the kidney within the lumen of the loops of Henle, but no intracellular storage sites were identified in renal or female reproductive tissues. Recombinant HBD-1 forms (36, 39, and 42 aa) and natural HBD-1 forms were antimicrobial to laboratory and clinical strains of Escherichia coli at micromolar concentrations. HBD-1 activity was not changed appreciably by low pH, but was inhibited by high salt conditions. Some of the HBD-1 peptides retained their activity against E. coli in unconcentrated (low conductance) urine, and the 36 aa form was microbicidal even in normal (high conductance) urine. Production of HBD-1 in the urogenital tract could contribute to local antimicrobial defense.
|Elevated pleural fluid levels of defensins in patients with empyema.|
Chest. 1998 Mar;113(3):788-94.
BACKGROUND: Defensins, also known as human neutrophil peptides, are antimicrobial peptides present in the azurophil granules of neutrophils. We measured their level in pleural effusion in various pulmonary diseases to investigate whether they could be used as a diagnostic marker in the differential diagnosis of specific pleural diseases. PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS: We analyzed pleural effusion samples collected from 61 patients, including 50 exudates (11 with empyema, 3 parapneumonic, 15 tuberculous, 18 neoplastic, 3 miscellaneous) and 11 transudates as controls. MEASUREMENTS: Defensins were measured by radioimmunoassay and also analyzed by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The concentrations of interleukin (IL)-8 and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in pleural effusion fluid were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to examine the correlation between these cytokines and defensins. RESULTS: The concentration of defensins in all samples of empyema was >5,100 ng/mL and the mean concentration (13,265.8+/-1,895.2 ng/mL) in these samples was the highest among other groups. The concentration in the other 50 pleural effusion samples tested was <2,800 ng/mL. Defensins were mostly of the mature type in empyema. Pleural effusion levels of IL-8 and G-CSF in patients with empyema were also significantly higher than those in other samples. There was a significant correlation between defensins and IL-8 or G-CSF in pleural effusion fluid (r=0.762, and 0.827, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the high effusion concentrations of defensins in pleural effusion may constitute an important component of the host defense system or may have a cytotoxic role in empyema. Our results also indicate that the high levels of IL-8 and G-CSF in empyema may indirectly explain the elevated levels of defensins by increasing the number of neutrophils in the pleural space.