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Toll-like receptor 4-dependent activation of dendritic cells by beta-defensin 2

Author(s): Biragyn A, Ruffini PA, Leifer CA, Klyushnenkova E, Shakhov A, et al.

Abstract

β-Defensins are small antimicrobial peptides of the innate immune system produced in response to microbial infection of mucosal tissue and skin. We demonstrate that murine β-defensin 2 (mDF2β) acts directly on immature dendritic cells as an endogenous ligand for Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4), inducing up-regulation of costimulatory molecules and dendritic cell maturation. These events, in turn, trigger robust, type 1 polarized adaptive immune responses in vivo, suggesting that mDF2β may play an important role in immunosurveillance against pathogens and, possibly, self antigens or tumor antigens.

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