Human beta-defensins (HBDs) recognized in the stomach include HBD1, which is the constitutional human beta-defensin (HBD), and HBD-2 and HBD-4, which are inducible HBDs. HBD-2 is an antimicrobial peptide that is involved in host defences against bacterial infections, such as Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) in infection of the gastric mucosal epithelium. We examined the pathophysiological role of HBD-2, besides their roles as antimicrobial peptides. The materials used for the study consisted of gastric mucosal tissue specimens collected endoscopically from patients with conditions such as chronic gastritis associated with H. pylori infection, and gastric ulcers and gastritis due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with or without H. pylori infection. We investigated the expression of HBD-2 and NF-kappaB by RT-PCR and immunoblotting, and the relation between the localization of HBD-2 and follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) by immunohistochemistry. Expression of HBD-2 was recognized in all the mucosal tissue specimens, irrespective of the presence or absence of H. pylori infection. All of the mucosal specimens expressing HBD-2 also revealed expression of NF-kappaB. In consecutive immunohisto-chemical staining, while expression of HBD-2 was observed in the gastric mucosal epithelium, FDCs were found to be localized in the lamina propria mucosae under the epithelial cell layer. These data suggested that in addition to being antimicrobial peptides, HBD-2 may also have a pathophysiological role as proinflammatory mediators, and that the HBD may act as proinflammatory mediators in concert with the dendritic cells (DC) by transmitting a signal from the mucosal surface to the lamina propria mucosae, which seems to be the original site of gastric mucosal damage.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||International journal of molecular medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2004 Dec|
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