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Understanding the roles of gingival beta-defensins

Author(s): Ulvi Kahraman Gursoy | Eija Könönen

Journal: Journal of Oral Microbiology
ISSN 2000-2297

Volume: 4;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: bacteria | beta-defensins | epithelium | periodontium

Gingival epithelium produces β-defensins, small cationic peptides, as part of its contribution to the innate host defense against the bacterial challenge that is constantly present in the oral cavity. Besides their functions in healthy gingival tissues, β-defensins are involved in the initiation and progression, as well as restriction of periodontal tissue destruction, by acting as antimicrobial, chemotactic, and anti-inflammatory agents. In this article, we review the common knowledge about β-defensins, coming from in vivo and in vitro monolayer studies, and present new aspects, based on the experience on three-dimensional organotypic culture models, to the important role of gingival β-defensins in homeostasis of the periodontium.
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