Gut 56:1325-1326 doi:10.1136/gut.2007.125005
  • Letter

Activated innate immune system in irritable bowel syndrome?

  1. J Langhorst1,
  2. A Wieder1,
  3. A Michalsen1,
  4. F Musial1,
  5. G J Dobos1,
  6. A Rueffer2
  1. 1Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Department of Internal Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Germany
  2. 2Labor L+S AG, Bad Bocklet-Großenbrach, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Jost Langhorst
    Department of Internal Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, University of Duisburg-Essen, Am Deimelsberg 34a, D-45276 Essen, Germany; jost.langhorst{at}
  • Published Online First 11 April 2007

The discovery of antimicrobial peptides has extended our knowledge of non-specific defence mechanisms. In addition to the physical barrier, the intestinal epithelium contributes to host defence by producing antimicrobial peptides to limit access to enteric bacteria and other microorganisms.1 The production of inducible antimicrobial peptides offers an initial rapid defence response of epithelial cells against invading microbes.2

Human β-defensin-2 (HBD-2) was the first inducible human antimicrobial protein discovered.3 It can be induced by probiotic microorganisms and pro-inflammatory cytokines.4 Recent results suggest that HBD-2 is expressed in active intestinal inflammation, especially in ulcerative colitis.5 Thus far, the expression of β-defensins has been quantified in the intestinal mucosa using the polymerase chain reaction procedure. Our aim was to evaluate faecal measurements of HBD-2 in patients with active …

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