gms | German Medical Science

54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e. V.

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung

16.06. bis 18.06.2005, Hamburg

The antimicrobial peptides LL-37 and HBD-3 are expressed and produced in healthy and inflamed human synovial membranes

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author S. Oestern - Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein Campus Kiel, Orthopädie, Kiel
  • F. Paulsen - Halle
  • T. Pufe - Kiel
  • L. Conradi - Kiel
  • J. Hassenpflug - Kiel
  • M. Mann - Kiel
  • R. Schütz - Kiel
  • D. Varoga - Kiel

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung. 54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e.V.. Hamburg, 16.-18.06.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05novEP19

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 13, 2005

© 2005 Oestern et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




In this study we determined the expression and production of human cationic antimicrobial protein (LL-37) and human beta-defensin-3 (HBD-3) in healthy and inflamed human synovial membranes. Moreover we evaluated the regulation of these antibacterial substances after stimulation with proinflammatory cytokines and bacteria in cultured synoviocytes.

Methods and Material

Expression of LL-37 and HBD-3 in heathy synovial membranes as well as samples from patients with pyogenic arthritis (PA) were determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In vitro experiments with cultered synoviocytes were performed to assess the regulation of LL-37 and

HBD-3 after stimulation with bacterial supernatants and proinflamatory cytokines. Expression of the antimicrobial peptides in stimulated synoviocytes were analysed by real-time-RT-PCR and ELISA.


In healthy synovial membranes the antimicrobial peptides LL-37 and HBD-3

were not expressed, but they were upregulated in samples of synovial membranes from patients with pyogenic arthritis (PA), suggesting a bacterial influence. After stimulation with Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and IL-1 or TNF-α. the expression pattern of LL-37 and HBD-3 in synoviocytes changed.


The synovial membrane holds potential for induction of antimicrobial peptides while inflammatory reaction caused by bacterial supernatants or proinflamatory cytokines.

A deficiency in the production of antimicrobial peptide may cause a higher susceptibility to bacterial joint infections. There is still a lack of experience in the clinical use of antimicrobial peptides, and this important aspect should be addressed in future investigations.