Host defense peptides: Front-line immunomodulators

Sarah C. Mansour, Olga M. Pena, Robert E.W. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

318 Citations (Scopus)


Although first studied for their antimicrobial activity, host defense peptides (HDPs) are now widely recognized for their multifunctional roles in both the innate and adaptive immune responses. Their diverse immunomodulatory capabilities include the modulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory responses, chemoattraction, enhancement of extracellular and intracellular bacterial killing, cellular differentiation and activation of the innate and adaptive compartments, wound-healing, and modulation of autophagy as well as apoptosis and pyroptosis. We review the various immunomodulatory roles of HDPs and their synthetic analogs, the innate defense regulators (IDRs). We discuss their potential as host-directed therapies, the hurdles they face in clinical development, and propose ways forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-450
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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