Quantitative comparison of the expression of antimicrobial peptides in the oral mucosa and extraoral skin

Marco R. Kesting, Christian Mueller, Stefan Wagenpfeil, Mechthild Stoeckelhuber, Timm Steiner, Florian Bauer, Jan Teichmann, Claudia M. Baumann, Leopold C. Barthel, Robin M. Satanovskij, Thomas Mücke, Matthias Schulte, Katrin Schütz, Klaus D. Wolff, Nils H. Rohleder

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10 Scopus citations


Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) defend epithelial surfaces against pathological micro-organisms. We know of no comparison of their expression between the oral mucosa and extraoral epithelium, but knowledge of differences in their quantities is of interest, possibly as a starting point for new treatments. Expression of AMP human beta-defensin (hBD)-1/-2/-3 and psoriasin in the oral mucosa and extraoral epithelium of the head and neck were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (n = 14), immunohistochemistry (n = 6), and western blot (n = 8). RT-PCR showed that all the genes investigated were expressed significantly more in the oral mucosa than in the skin (hBD-1: p = 0.002; hBD-2: p = 0.006; hBD-3: p = 0.035; psoriasin: p = 0.02). Immunohistochemistry and western blot showed differential concentrations of proteins: hBD-2 (p = 0.021) and hBD-3 (p = 0.043) were pronounced in the oral mucosa, whereas psoriasin was raised in the extraoral skin (p = 0.021). There was no difference in protein concentrations for hBD-1 (p = 0.08). The observed differences in the expression of AMP may be important for new treatments such as topical application of AMP derivatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Host defence
  • Human beta-defensin
  • Innate immunity
  • Oral surgical site infection
  • Psoriasin


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