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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 180109, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/180109
Review Article

Defensins and Sepsis

Department of Anesthesiology, the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Qingchun Road 79, Hangzhou 31003, China

Received 1 March 2014; Revised 8 May 2014; Accepted 16 June 2014; Published 19 August 2014

Academic Editor: Qiang Shu

Copyright © 2014 Guo-Hao Xie et al. 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.

Abstract

Sepsis is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the critical illness. Multiple immune inflammatory processes take part in the pathogenesis of sepsis. Defensins are endogenous antimicrobial peptides with three disulphide bonds created by six cysteine residues. Besides the intrinsic microbicidal properties, defensins are active players which modulate both innate and adaptive immunity against various infections. Defensins can recruit neutrophils, enhance phagocytosis, chemoattract T cells and dendritic cells, promote complement activation, and induce IL-1β production and pyrotosis. Previous publications have documented that defensins play important roles in a series of immune inflammatory diseases including sepsis. This review aims to briefly summarize in vitro, in vivo, and genetic studies on defensins’ effects as well as corresponding mechanisms within sepsis and highlights their promising findings which may be potential targets in future therapies of sepsis.