Host-defense peptides secreted by epithelial cells exhibit cytotoxic and immunoregulatory effects in order to protect the organism against invading microorganisms. Antimicrobial peptides derived from frog skin display both immunostimulatory and immunosuppressive actions as demonstrated by in vitro cytokine production by macrophages. Frenatin 2.1S, first isolated from skin secretions of the frog, Sphaenorhynchus lacteus (Hylidae), enhances the in vitro production of pro-inflammatory IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-23 by mouse peritoneal cells. In order to test whether the immunostimulatory action of frenatin 2.1S may be reproduced in vivo, effects of intraperitoneal injections of this peptide on mononuclear cells in the peritoneum and spleen were determined 24 h after administration. The data indicate that frenatin 2.1S enhances the activation state and homing capacity of Th1 type lymphocytes and NKT cells in the mouse peritoneal cavity, as evaluated by increased expression of early activation marker CD69 among T and NKT cells and chemokine receptor CXCR3 among T cells. Frenatin 2.1S significantly increases the percentage of (F4/80+CD11c+CD206+) pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages and enhances the expression of MHC class II molecules on F4/80+CD11c+ macrophages in the mouse peritoneal cavity. Additionally, injection of frenatin 2.1S, in the presence or absence of lipopolysaccharide, increases the percentage of peritoneal B cells of the (CD19+CD11b+CD5+) B1a phenotype thus contributing to an inflammatory milieu. We suggest that the immunostimulatory effect of frenatin 2.1S may have therapeutic relevance in disease states, such as certain types of cancer, in which an enhanced inflammatory response may be beneficial.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technological Development ( 175071 and 175069 ) (Belgrade, Serbia). The authors report no conflicts of interest relevant to this article.
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- B1 lymphocyte
- Frenatin 2.1S
- Peritoneal macrophage
- Pro-inflammatory cytokine
- Th1 lymphocyte