Juergen Harder

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The growing public health problem of infections caused by multiresistant Gram-positive bacteria, in particular Staphylococcus aureus, prompted us to screen human epithelia for endogenous S. aureus-killing factors. A novel 5-kDa, nonhemolytic antimicrobial peptide (human beta-defensin-3, hBD-3) was isolated from human lesional psoriatic scales and cloned(More)
Human healthy skin is continuously exposed to bacteria, but is particularly resistant to the common gut bacterium Escherichia coli. We show here that keratinocytes secrete, as the main E. coli–killing compound, the S100 protein psoriasin in vitro and in vivo in a site-dependent way. In vivo treatment of human skin with antibodies to psoriasin inhibited its(More)
Cultured lung epithelial cells release antibacterial activity upon contact with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA), which is impaired in cystic fibrosis (CF). In order to identify the factors responsible for killing PA by a biochemical approach, we purified antimicrobial activity from supernatants of the A549 lung epithelial cell line, previously stimulated with(More)
Little is known about the defensive mechanisms induced in epithelial cells by pathogenic versus probiotic bacteria. The aim of our study was to compare probiotic bacterial strains such as Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 with nonprobiotic, pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria with respect to innate defense mechanisms in the intestinal mucosal cell. Here we(More)
Recent evidence suggests that probiotic bacteria may stabilize gut barrier function via induction of anti-microbial peptides such as defensins. This study aimed to elucidate the induction mechanism of the human beta defensin-2 (hBD-2) gene by different probiotic lactobacillus strains. The expression of hBD-2 mRNA peaked at 6 h of incubation upon treatment(More)
Human beta-defensin-2 (HBD-2) is a cysteine-rich cationic low molecular weight antimicrobial peptide recently discovered in psoriatic lesional skin. It is produced by a number of epithelial cells and exhibits potent antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacteria and Candida, but not Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus. HBD-2 represents the first(More)
The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) plays a central role in the pathogenesis and the course of inflammatory skin diseases, including psoriasis. Posttranscriptional activation of IL-1β is mediated by inflammasomes; however, the mechanisms triggering IL-1β processing remain unknown. Recently, cytosolic DNA has been identified as a danger(More)
Although many properties of the innate immune system are shared among multicellular animals, the evolutionary origin remains poorly understood. Here we characterize the innate immune system in Hydra, one of the simplest multicellular animals known. In the complete absence of both protective mechanical barriers and mobile phagocytes, Hydra's epithelium is(More)
Antimicrobial peptides such as defensins provide nonspecific mucosal defense against a multitude of microorganisms. Recently, it has been shown that luminal bacteria may invade the mucosa in inflammatory bowel diseases, suggesting a defect in innate mucosal immunity. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of human beta-defensins (HBD) in(More)