Toll-Like Receptor 4-Dependent Activation of Dendritic Cells by β-Defensin 2

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Science  01 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5595, pp. 1025-1029
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075565

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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.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: arya{at}

  • On leave of absence from Divisione di Oncologia Medica Falck, Ospedale Niguarda Ca Granda, Milan, Italy.

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