Modulation of the TLR-mediated inflammatory response by the endogenous human host defense peptide LL-37

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Modulation of the TLR-mediated inflammatory response by the endogenous human host defense peptide LL-37

TitleModulation of the TLR-mediated inflammatory response by the endogenous human host defense peptide LL-37
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMookherjee, N, Brown, KL, Bowdish, DM, Doria, S, Falsafi, R, Hokamp, K, Roche, FM, Mu, R, Doho, GH, Pistolic, J, Powers, JP, Bryan, J, Brinkman, FS, Hancock, RE
JournalJ. Immunol.
Volume176
Pagination2455–2464
Date PublishedFeb
AbstractThe sole human cathelicidin peptide, LL-37, has been demonstrated to protect animals against endotoxemia/sepsis. Low, physiological concentrations of LL-37 (< or =1 microg/ml) were able to modulate inflammatory responses by inhibiting the release of the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha in LPS-stimulated human monocytic cells. Microarray studies established a temporal transcriptional profile and identified differentially expressed genes in LPS-stimulated monocytes in the presence or absence of LL-37. LL-37 significantly inhibited the expression of specific proinflammatory genes up-regulated by NF-kappaB in the presence of LPS, including NFkappaB1 (p105/p50) and TNF-alpha-induced protein 2 (TNFAIP2). In contrast, LL-37 did not significantly inhibit LPS-induced genes that antagonize inflammation, such as TNF-alpha-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3) and the NF-kappaB inhibitor, NFkappaBIA, or certain chemokine genes that are classically considered proinflammatory. Nuclear translocation, in LPS-treated cells, of the NF-kappaB subunits p50 and p65 was reduced > or =50% in the presence of LL-37, demonstrating that the peptide altered gene expression in part by acting directly on the TLR-to-NF-kappaB pathway. LL-37 almost completely prevented the release of TNF-alpha and other cytokines by human PBMC following stimulation with LPS and other TLR2/4 and TLR9 agonists, but not with cytokines TNF-alpha or IL-1beta. Biochemical and inhibitor studies were consistent with a model whereby LL-37 modulated the inflammatory response to LPS/endotoxin and other agonists of TLR by a complex mechanism involving multiple points of intervention. We propose that the natural human host defense peptide LL-37 plays roles in the delicate balancing of inflammatory responses in homeostasis as well as in combating sepsis induced by certain TLR agonists.