Defensins of vertebrate animals

Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Feb;14(1):96-102. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(01)00303-x.


During the past year, novel beta-defensins of mice and men have been identified, together with a novel defensin subfamily (the circular or 'theta' minidefensins) in primates. Insight into the evolution of defensins has been obtained from structural studies, and several mechanisms related to microbial resistance to defensins have been delineated. There is now convincing evidence that defensins augment adaptive immune responses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Defensins / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Mice
  • Vertebrates / immunology


  • Defensins