Host Defense Peptides LL-37 and Lactoferrin Trigger ET Release from Blood-Derived Circulating Monocytes

Frederic V. Schwäbe, Lotta Happonen, Sofie Ekestubbe, Ariane Neumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neutrophils are commonly regarded as the first line of immune response during infection or in tissue injury-induced inflammation. The rapid influx of these cells results in the release of host defense proteins (HDPs) or formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). As a second wave during inflammation or infection, circulating monocytes arrive at the site. Earlier studies showed that HDPs LL-37 and Lactoferrin (LTF) activate monocytes while neutrophil elastase facilitates the formation of extracellular traps (ETs) in monocytes. However, the knowledge about the impact of HDPs on monocytes remains sparse. In the present study, we investigated the effect of LL-37 and LTF on blood-derived CD14+ monocytes. Both HDPs triggered a significant release of TNFα, nucleosomes, and monocyte ETs. Microscopic analysis indicated that ET formation by LL-37 depends on storage-operated calcium entry (SOCE), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and ERK1/2, whereas the LTF-mediated ET release is not affected by any of the here used inhibitors. Quantitative proteomics mass spectrometry analysis of the neutrophil granular content (NGC) revealed a high abundance of Lactoferrin. The stimulation of CD14+ monocytes with NGC resulted in a significant secretion of TNFα and nucleosomes, and the formation of monocyte ETs. The findings of this study provide new insight into the complex interaction of HDPs, neutrophils, and monocytes during inflammation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number469
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Immunology in the medical area

Free keywords

  • Extracellular traps
  • Host defense peptides
  • Monocytes
  • Neutrophils
  • Neutrophil–monocyte interaction


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