Immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities of chicken cathelicidin-2 derived peptides

A. van Dijk, M. van Eldik, E.J.A. Veldhuizen, H.L.M. Tjeerdsma-van Bokhoven, M.R. de Zoete, F.J. Bikker, H.P. Haagsman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Host Defence Peptides and derived peptides are promising classes of antimicrobial and immunomodulatory lead compounds. For this purpose we examined whether chicken cathelicidin-2 (CATH-2)-derived peptides modulate the function and inflammatory response of avian immune cells. Using a chicken macrophage cell line (HD11) we found that full-length CATH-2 dose-dependently induced transcription of chemokines CXCLi2/IL-8, MCP-3 and CCLi4/RANTES, but not of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β. In addition, CATH-2 efficiently inhibited IL-1β and nitric oxide production by HD11 cells induced by different sources of lipopolysaccharides (LPS). N-terminal truncated CATH-2 derived peptides maintained the capacity to selectively induce chemokine transcription, but despite their high LPS affinity several analogs lacked LPS-neutralizing capacity. Substitution of phenylalanine residues by tryptophan introduced endotoxin neutralization capacity in inactive truncated CATH-2 derived peptides. In contrast, amino acid substitution of phenylalanine by tyrosine abrogated endotoxin neutralization activity of CATH-2 analogs. These findings support a pivotal role for aromatic residues in peptide-mediated endotoxin neutralization by CATH-2 analogs and were shown to be independent of LPS affinity. The capacity to modulate chemokine production and dampen endotoxin-induced pro-inflammatory responses in chicken immune cells implicates that small CATH-2 based peptides could serve as leads for the design of CATH-2 based immunomodulatory anti-infectives.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0147919
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2016


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