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Richard John Haynes, Jane Elizabeth McElveen, Harminder Singh Dua, Patrick Jason Tighe, Janet Liversidge; Expression of Human Beta-Defensins in Intraocular Tissues. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(10):3026-3031.
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purpose. Defensins are naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides. Recently the
authors published evidence of defensin production by the human
ocular surface. A study was undertaken to look for intraocular
defensins that may account for unexplained antimicrobial activity of
methods. Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) was
performed on human postmortem ciliary body samples for beta defensins-1
(HBD-1) and beta defensin-2 (HBD-2), and alpha defensins 5 and 6.
Induction of defensins by cytokines was analyzed in cultured human
ciliary body epithelial (CBE) and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE)
cells. Polyclonal antibodies were used to immunoblot aqueous and
vitreous to detect HBD-1 and HBD-2 and to estimate their concentration.
results. RT–PCR revealed constitutive HBD-1 message in ciliary body. HBD-2 and
alpha defensin 5 and 6 messages were absent. HBD-2 message was induced
by cytokine stimulation of both CBE and RPE cells. Immunoblots of
vitreous and aqueous stained positively for HBD-1 but not HBD-2. The
estimated aqueous concentration of HBD-1 was less than 16 ng/ml.
conclusions. This study demonstrates that HBD-1 is constitutively present in the
aqueous and vitreous, probably at sub-bacteriocidal concentrations.
HBD-2 was absent from aqueous, but cytokine stimulation studies suggest
that it may be generated in response to inflammatory cytokines during
infections. HBD-2 has a wider antibacterial spectrum, is 10-fold more
potent, and may play a more significant role in antimicrobial defense
than HBD-1. The use of defensins therapeutically may be indicated;
however, caution is required because defensins also promote cell
proliferation and fibrin formation, which are 2 key elements in ocular
scarring processes such as proliferative
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