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Dissecting the relationship between antimicrobial peptides and mesenchymal stem cells
Pharmacology & Therapeutics  (IF12.31),  Pub Date : 2021-10-09, DOI: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2021.108021
Amandda Évelin Silva-Carvalho, Marlon Henrique Cardoso, Thuany de Alencar e Silva, Gabriela Muller Reche Bogéa, Juliana Lott de Carvalho, Octávio Luiz Franco, Felipe Saldanha-Araujo

Among the various biological properties presented by Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), their ability to control the immune response and fight pathogen infection through the production of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been the subject of intense research in recent years. AMPs secreted by MSCs exhibit activity against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and viruses. The main AMPs produced by these cells are hepcidin, cathelicidin LL-37, and β-defensin-2. In addition to acting against pathogens, those AMPs have also been shown to interact with MSCs to modulate MSC proliferation, migration, and regeneration, indicating that such peptides exert a more diverse biological effect than initially thought. In the present review, we discuss the production of AMPs by MSCs, revise the multiple functions of these peptides, including their influence over MSCs, and present an overview of clinical situations in which the antimicrobial properties of MSCs may be explored for therapy. Finally, we discuss possibilities of combining MSCs and AMPs to generate improved therapeutic strategies.