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Cathelicidins are a family of Host Defense Peptides (HDPs), that play an important role in the innate immune response. They exert both broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against pathogens, and strong immunomodulatory functions that affect the response of innate and adaptive immune cells. The aim of this study was to investigate immunomodulation by the chicken cathelicidin CATH-2 and compare its activities to those of the human cathelicidin LL-37. Chicken macrophages and chicken monocytes were incubated with cathelicidins. Activation of immune cells was determined by measuring surface markers Mannose Receptor Ctype 1 (MRC1) and MHC-II. Cytokine production was measured by qPCR and nitric oxide production was determined using the Griess assay. Finally, the effect of cathelicidins on phagocytosis was measured using carboxylate-modified polystyrene latex beads. CATH-2 and its all-D enantiomer D-CATH-2 increased MRC1 and MHC-II expression, markers for antigen presentation, on primary chicken monocytes, whereas LL-37 did not. D-CATH- 2 also increased the MRC1 and MHC-II expression if a chicken macrophage cell line (HD11 cells) was used. In addition, LPS-induced NO production by HD11 cells was inhibited by CATH-2 and D-CATH-2. These results are a clear indication that CATH-2 (and D-CATH-2) affect the activation state of monocytes and macrophages, which leads to optimization of the innate immune response and enhancement of the adaptive immune response. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at


Marina D Kraaij, Albert van Dijk, Maaike R Scheenstra, Roel M van Harten, Henk P Haagsman, Edwin J A Veldhuizen. Chicken CATH-2 Increases Antigen Presentation Markers on Chicken Monocytes and Macrophages. Protein and peptide letters. 2020;27(1):60-66

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PMID: 31362652

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