[Strategies of the Nasal Mucous Membranes for Defense Against Infection. Current Knowledge of Antimicrobial Peptides]

HNO. 2005 May;53 Suppl 1:S21-5. doi: 10.1007/s00106-005-1232-3.
[Article in German]


Infections of healthy skin or mucous membranes are rare despite constant exposure to microbial colonization. Nonspecific and specific defense mechanisms correspond in the nose: the mucociliary clearance provides very effective mechanical cleaning. If this protection is insufficient, the nasal epithelium comes into close contact with microorganisms. This triggers the recently discovered production of the body's own specific antimicrobial peptides (AP). It seems that it is difficult for microorganisms to form enzyme-induced resistance to AP. This makes AP highly interesting for the development of new antibiotics. The observation that antimicrobial activity can be induced has also led to the hypothesis that natural substances may possibly stimulate endogenous AP production. If this line of defense also fails, the inflammatory cells migrate from the blood into the tissue and, with their capacity for phagocytosis, the enzymatic attack on bacteria can cause a cellular inflammatory reaction in the nasal mucous membrane.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / immunology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / immunology*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Nasal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Rhinitis / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis / immunology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides