Antimicrobial defensin peptides of the human nasal mucosa

Hag Lee Sang, Eun Kim Jung, Ho Lim Hyun, Man Lee Heung, Ouck Choi Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Defensins, a prominent group of antimicrobial peptides, are an important component of the innate immune response, particularly at mucosal surfaces that are vulnerable to colonization by potential pathogens. The present study was undertaken to investigate the expression of defensins in inferior turbinate mucosa of normal subjects and inferior turbinate mucosa and nasal polyps of patients with chronic sinusitis. Expression of β-defensin 1 and 2 and α-defensin 5 and 6 messenger RNAs (mRNAs) was investigated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and their expression level was semiquantitatively evaluated by dot blot hybridization. Immunohistochemical analysis was used for detection of α-defensins 1, 2, and 3 in tissue sections. β-Defensin 1 mRNA was expressed in all tissue samples, at levels that did not differ significantly. β-Defensin 2 mRNA was detected in the turbinate mucosa and nasal polyps of patients with chronic sinusitis, but not in normal mucosa. Its expression level was significantly higher in nasal polyps than in turbinate mucosa. α-Defensin 5 and 6 mRNAs were not expressed in any tissues, but α-defensins 1, 2, and 3 were detected in all tissue samples obtained from patients with chronic sinusitis. These results suggest that β-defensin 1 may play a constitutive role in nasal defenses, whereas α-defensins 1, 2, and 3 and β-defensin 2 may be induced in response to local infection or inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Defensin
  • Inferior turbinate
  • Nasal polyp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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