, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 73-77

Localization of human neutrophil peptide (HNP) and its messenger RNA in neutrophil series

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Human neutrophil peptides (HNPs) 1, 2 and 3, also called defensins, have high antimicrobial activity and are cytotoxic to both normal and transformed human cells. The localization of HNPs 1–3 and their mRNAs in cells of normal human bone marrow and peripheral blood was investigated. Immunoreactivity for HNPs 1–3 appeared in the promyelocyte stage and increased with the maturation of the neutrophil series. HNPs 1–3 were absent from such mononuclear phagocyte systems as peripheral monocytes, alveolar macrophages, and Kupffer cells in the liver. HNP 1–3 mRNAs were detected in bone marrow cells by Northern blot analysis and in peripheral leukocytes by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). HNPs 1–3 are restricted to cells of neutrophil lineage and seem to function as microbicidal agents in the neutrophil-mediated defense system.