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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3078194, 11 pages
Research Article

Saliva-Derived Host Defense Peptides Histatin1 and LL-37 Increase Secretion of Antimicrobial Skin and Oral Mucosa Chemokine CCL20 in an IL-1α-Independent Manner

1Department of Oral Biochemistry, Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam and VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2Department of Dermatology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
3Department of Oral Cell Biology, Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam and VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Correspondence should be addressed to Susan Gibbs

Received 15 February 2017; Accepted 19 June 2017; Published 26 July 2017

Academic Editor: Kurt Blaser

Copyright © 2017 Mireille A. Boink 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.


Even though skin and oral mucosae are continuously in contact with commensal and opportunistic microorganisms, they generally remain healthy and uninflamed. Host defense peptides (HDPs) make up the body’s first line of defense against many invading pathogens and are involved in the orchestration of innate immunity and the inflammatory response. In this study, we investigated the effect of two salivary HDPs, LL-37 and Hst1, on the inflammatory and antimicrobial response by skin and oral mucosa (gingiva) keratinocytes and fibroblasts. The potent antimicrobial chemokine CCL20 was investigated and compared with chemokines CCL2, CXCL1, CXCL8, and CCL27 and proinflammatory cytokines IL-1α and IL-6. Keratinocyte-fibroblast cocultures showed a synergistic increase in CCL20 secretion upon Hst1 and LL-37 exposure compared to monocultures. These cocultures also showed increased IL-6, CXCL1, CXCL8, and CCL2 secretion, which was IL-1α dependent. Secretion of the antimicrobial chemokine CCL20 was clearly IL-1α independent. These results indicate that salivary peptides can stimulate skin as well as gingiva cells to secrete antimicrobial chemokines as part of the hosts’ defense to counteract infection.