Defensins are a newly delineated family of effector molecules whose contribution to host defense, inflammation and cytotoxicity may be considerable for humans. β-Defensins are cationic peptides with broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity that are produced by epithelia at the mucosal surface. Tonsillar epithelium, which is constantly exposed to microorganisms, may express these natural antibiotic peptides as part of its protective function. In this study we searched for the expression of hBD-1 mRNA in palatine tonsillar epithelium without signs of infection, using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization. Total RNA was isolated from non-infected tonsil and hBD-1 mRNA was identified in these tissues. From in situ hybridization, the expression of hBD-I mRNA was seen to be localized in the surface epithelia of palatine tonsil. These data suggest that hBD-1 of the palatine tonsil may also play an important role in innate defense against microorganisms.
- In situ hybridization
- Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction
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