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Beta-defensins are antimicrobial peptides produced by several cell types, including respiratory epithelia and leukocytes. Expression of some beta-defensins is increased by bacterial-induced inflammatory responses whereas expression of other beta-defensins is constitutive. Two beta-defensins are expressed in lungs of sheep (sheep beta-defensin-1 and -2; SBD-1/-2) and expression of SBD-1 is increased during parainfluenza virus type 3 (PI-3) infection. The effect of Mannheimia haemolytica, a Gram-negative bacteria known to induce expression of bovine beta-defensins and NF-kappa B in lung, has not been determined for SBD-1/-2. In this study, different concentrations of M. haemolytica were inoculated into pulmonary bronchi of lambs. SBD-1 and SBD-2 mRNA levels detected by real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in lung homogenates did not increase. In fact, SBD-1 mRNA levels were significantly decreased with the highest administered inoculum concentration (109). In contrast, mRNA levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8) were significantly increased over controls and progressively increased with M. haemolytica concentrations. Co-inoculation of M. haemolytica with xylitol, an osmotic agent, did not alter mRNA levels of SBD-1, SBD-2 or IL-8. SBD-1 mRNA expression was detected in lung epithelia, but not in leukocytes. This study suggests that SDB-1 expression occurs in epithelia and decreases during severe bacterial pneumonia, which is in contrast to the increase that occurs with PI-3 infection.
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Ackermann, Mark R.; Gallup, Jack M.; Zabner, Joseph; Evans, Richard B.; Brockus, Charles W.; Meyerholz, David K.; Grubor, Branka; and Brogden, Kim A., "Differential expression of sheep beta-defensin-1 and -2 and interleukin 8 during acute Mannheimia haemolytica pneumonia" (2004). Veterinary Pathology Publications and Papers. 28.