Host defense peptides in wound healing

Mol Med. Jul-Aug 2008;14(7-8):528-37. doi: 10.2119/2008-00002.Steinstraesser.


Host defense peptides are effector molecules of the innate immune system. They show broad antimicrobial action against gram-positive and -negative bacteria, and they likely play a key role in activating and mediating the innate as well as adaptive immune response in infection and inflammation. These features make them of high interest for wound healing research. Non-healing and infected wounds are a major problem in patient care and health care spending. Increasing infection rates, growing bacterial resistance to common antibiotics, and the lack of effective therapeutic options for the treatment of problematic wounds emphasize the need for new approaches in therapy and pathophysiologic understanding. This review focuses on the current knowledge of host defense peptides affecting wound healing and infection. We discuss the current data and highlight the potential future developments in this field of research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Peptides / physiology*
  • Wound Healing / immunology*


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Peptides