Localization of expression of human beta defensin-1 in the pancreas and kidney

J Pathol. 1998 Sep;186(1):99-103. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(199809)186:1<99::AID-PATH133>3.0.CO;2-#.


Defensins are antimicrobial peptides which play a key role in innate immunity. High levels of human beta defensin-1 (hBD-1) have previously been detected in the kidney and pancreas, but the cell-specific location of hBD-1 mRNA has not been determined. The expression of hBD-1 mRNA has been examined in fetal and adult pancreas and kidney by mRNA in situ hybridization. In fetal pancreas, hBD-1 expression was detected in the developing acini and in adult pancreas in the acini, but not in the pancreatic ducts. In both fetal and adult kidney, hBD-1 expression was detected in the collecting ducts and in the loops of Henle in adult kidney. Expression of hBD-1 mRNA in the pancreas and kidney from early development and in the acini of the adult pancreas, rather than in the pancreatic ducts, may indicate that in these tissues, hBD-1 fulfils physiological functions in addition to host defence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / metabolism*
  • Defensins
  • Female
  • Fetus / immunology
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Kidney / embryology
  • Kidney / immunology*
  • Male
  • Pancreas / embryology
  • Pancreas / immunology*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • beta-Defensins*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • DEFB1 protein, human
  • Defensins
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • beta-Defensins