Cationic host defence peptides: Innate immune regulatory peptides as a novel approach for treating infections

N. Mookherjee, Robert Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

335 Citations (Scopus)


An increase in antibiotic resistance and the emergence of new pathogens has led to an urgent need for alternative approaches to infection management. Immunomodulatory molecules that do not target the pathogen directly, but rather selectively enhance and/or alter host defence mechanisms, are attractive candidates for therapeutic development. Natural cationic host defence peptides represent lead molecules that boost innate immune responses and selectively modulate pathogen-induced inflammatory responses. This review discusses recent evidence exploring the mechanisms of cationic host defence peptides as innate immune regulators, their role in the interface of innate and adaptive immunity, and their potential application as beneficial therapeutics in overcoming infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922-933
Number of pages12
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Host defence
  • Inflammation
  • Innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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