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International Journal of Inflammation
Volume 2010, Article ID 910283, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2010/910283
Review Article

Antimicrobial Peptides in Gastrointestinal Inflammation

Department of Internal Medicine I, Robert Bosch Hospital, Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Auerbachstr. 112, 70376 Stuttgart, Germany

Received 28 July 2010; Accepted 18 August 2010

Academic Editor: G. Rogler

Copyright © 2010 Simon Jäger 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

Acute and chronic inflammations of mucosal surfaces are complex events in which the effector mechanisms of innate and adaptive immune systems interact with pathogenic and commensal bacteria. The role of constitutive and inducible antimicrobial peptides in intestinal inflammation has been investigated thoroughly over the recent years, and their involvement in various disease states is expanded ever more. Especially in the intestines, a critical balance between luminal bacteria and the antimicrobial peptides is essential, and a breakdown in barrier function by impaired production of defensins is already implicated in Crohn's disease. In this paper, we focus on the role of antimicrobial peptides in inflammatory processes along the gastrointestinal tract, while considering the resident and pathogenic flora encountered at the specific sites. The role of antimicrobial peptides in the primary events of inflammatory bowel diseases receives special attention.