Antimicrobial peptide LL-37 is upregulated in chronic nasal inflammatory disease

Acta Otolaryngol. 2003 Jan;123(1):81-5. doi: 10.1080/0036554021000028089.


Objective: LL-37 is one of the antimicrobial peptides and the only member of the cathelicidin family identified so far in humans. We attempted to find a correlation between LL-37 peptide and inflammation of the nasal mucosa.

Material and methods: Nasal mucosa specimens were obtained from 15 chronic infective rhinitis patients and 6 normal controls. Immunohistochemical staining was used to examine the localization of LL-37 and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to determine the levels of LL-37, IL-1beta and IL-8 in tissue.

Results: LL-37 peptide was primarily localized in the surface of the epithelia, in the serous and mucous cells of the submucosal glands and in stromal inflammatory cells. The number of LL-37 immunoreactive cells in inflammatory nasal mucosa was significantly increased compared with normal nasal tissue. Using RT-PCR, LL-37 mRNA was detected in 3/6 normal turbinate samples but in all cases with inflammatory nasal tissues. IL-1beta and IL-8 transcripts exhibited a similar pattern to that of LL-37.

Conclusions: We suggest that LL-37 is one of the antimicrobial peptides found in human nasal mucosa and that it participates in the innate immune system of the nasal mucosa.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / genetics*
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Cathelicidins
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rhinitis / immunology*
  • Up-Regulation / genetics


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Cathelicidins
  • Cytokines
  • ropocamptide