What can we learn about functional importance of human antimicrobial peptide LL-37 in the oral environment from severe congenital neutropenia (Kostmann disease)?

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The human antimicrobial peptide LL-37 is produced by neutrophils and epithelial cells, and the peptide can be detected in plasma as well as saliva. LL-37 is active against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria including oral pathogens such as Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans. Besides its antimicrobial properties, LL-37 modulates the innate immune system, and furthermore, it also affects host cell viability. Although, both structural and functional properties of LL-37 have been extensively investigated, its physiological/pathophysiological importance in-vivo is not completely understood. In this review, Kostmann disease (morbus Kostmann) is highlighted since it may represent a LL-37 knockdown model which can provide new important information and insights about the functional role of LL-37 in the human in-vivo setting. Patients with Kostmann disease suffer from neutropenia, and although they are treated with recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to normalize their levels of neutrophils, they lack or have very low levels of LL-37 in plasma, saliva and neutrophils. Interestingly, these patients suffer from severe periodontal disease, linking LL-37-deficiency to oral infections. Thus, LL-37 seems to play an important pathophysiological role in the oral environment antagonizing oral pathogens and thereby prevents oral infections.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Odontologi
  • Mikrobiologi inom det medicinska området


StatusPublished - 2020
Peer review utfördJa