The concentration-dependent chemokine release and pro-apoptotic effects of neutrophil-derived α-defensin-1 on human bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells

Chien Ying Liu, Horng Chyuan Lin, Chih Teng Yu, Shu Min Lin, Kang Yun Lee, Hao Chen Chen, Chun Liang Chou, Chien Da Huang, Pai Chien Chou, Wen Te Liu, Chun Hua Wang, Han Pin Kuo

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Defensins play a pivotal role in antimicrobial reactions, inflammatory responses, wound repair, and specific immunity. In inflammatory and infectious lung diseases, α-defensins are released from recruited neutrophils, and modulate a variety of lung cell functions. We found that human bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells treated with low and moderate concentrations (5 and 10 μg/ml) of purified neutrophil-derived α-defensin-1 secreted more interleukin (IL)-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Under moderate and high concentrations (10 and 20 μg/ml) of α-defensin-1, we observed typical apoptotic changes in the lung epithelial cells after stimulation for 24 h. Furthermore, α-defensin-1 triggered lung cell detachment in a time- and dose-dependent manner at moderate and high concentrations. Prior to the detachment, caspase-3 activity significantly increased. On confocal laser microscopy, rapid translocation of α-defensin-1 to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was noted. These findings suggest that neutrophil-derived α-defensin-1 has pro-inflammatory and apoptotic effects in human bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells, which are concentration-dependent and may be associated with ER activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-758
Number of pages10
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase
  • Defensin
  • Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)
  • Interleukin (IL)-8
  • Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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