Antimicrobial Peptides as Agents of Mucosal Immunity

  1. Joan Marsh Organizer and
  2. Jamie A. Goode
  1. Charles L. Bevins1,2

Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470514658.ch15

Ciba Foundation Symposium 186 - Antimicrobial Peptides

Ciba Foundation Symposium 186 - Antimicrobial Peptides

How to Cite

Bevins, C. L. (2007) Antimicrobial Peptides as Agents of Mucosal Immunity, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 186 - Antimicrobial Peptides (eds J. Marsh and J. A. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470514658.ch15

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Division of Genetics and Molecular Biology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

  2. 2

    Division of Genetics and Molecular Biology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471950257

Online ISBN: 9780470514658

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Keywords:

  • antimicrobial peptides;
  • mucosal immunity;
  • mucosal host defense;
  • pathogenic organisms;
  • host defense

Summary

Mucosal surfaces are continually exposed to a wide range of potentially pathogenic organisms, yet the incidence of infectious disease resulting from these encounters is relatively low. This suggests the presence of highly effective defence mechanisms in these tissues. Antimicrobial peptides have recently been discovered in mucosal tissues and may play a significant role in host defence. Several mucosal peptides (andropin, magainin, tracheal antimicrobial peptide, enteric defensins and PR-39) all fulfil minimal criteria for a role in mucosal host defence, including potent in vitro antimicrobial activity and accumulation at the mucosal surface. Most of these mucosal peptides are encoded by members of large gene families that contain members found in other biological contexts more classically associated with antimicrobial defence. The abundance, activity and evolutionary history of several epithelial peptides suggest that antimicrobial peptides play a key role in host defence at mucosal surfaces.