Antimicrobial peptides and the enteric mucus layer act in concert to protect the intestinal mucosa

Gut Microbes. 2014;5(6):761-5. doi: 10.4161/19490976.2014.972238.


The intestinal mucosa squares the circle by allowing efficient nutrient absorption while generating a firm barrier toward the enteric microbiota, enteropathogenic microorganisms and high luminal concentrations of potent immunostimulatory molecules. The mucus layer together with local antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory peptides significantly contribute to this ability. Here we summarize the recent progress made to better understand the critical importance of this dynamic, complex and highly structured anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial barrier.

Keywords: CRS, Cryptdin-related sequence; HD, Human defensin; IAP, Intestinal alkaline phosphatase; LBP, Lipopolysaccharide binding protein; RegIIIγ, Regenerating islet-derived protein 3 γ; SIgA, Secretory immunoglobulin A.; antimicrobial peptides; host-microbial homeostasis; intestine; microbiota; mucosal host defense; mucus layer; paneth cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / immunology*
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Microbiota*


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides