Table 3

Activities of human defensins

PeptideInnate and adaptive immune effects
ACTH, Adrenocorticotrophic hormone; GPCR, G protein coupled receptor; iDC, immature dendritic cell; IFN, interferon; IL, interleukin; LPB, lipopolysaccharide binding protein; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; TLR, toll-like receptor; TNF, tumour necrosis factor.
α Defensins (HNP1–3)Antimicrobial and antiviral (anti-HIV-1)4–8,10,39
Regulate complement activation40,41
Degranulate mast cells42
Induce pulmonary epithelial cell proliferation in vitro43
Inhibit glucocorticoid production by blocking ACTH receptor26
Block LPS binding to LBP44
Chemotactic for naive resting T cells, CD8 T cells, immature dendritic cells27
Immunoadjuvant effects in mice30,31
    Augment cytokine production (IL5, IL6, IL10, and IFNγ)
    Promote antigen induced ex vivo splenocyte proliferation
    Enhance antigen induced cellular and humoral immune responses
β Defensins (HBD1–3)Antimicrobial4–8
Induce prostaglandin D2 production29
Degranulate mast cells29
Chemotactic for CCR6 dendritic cells25
    HBD3 also acts on unknown GPCR on monocytes15
Immunoadjuvant effects in mice32,33
    Enhance tumour antigen induced humoral and cellular immunity
    HBD2 induces cytokines and chemokines
    HBD2 also activates TLR4 iDCs