Cutaneous wound healing is a vital biological process that aids skin regeneration upon injury. Wound healing failure results from persistent inflammatory conditions observed in diabetes, or autoimmune diseases like psoriasis. Chronic wounds are incurable due to factors like poor oxygenation, aberrant function of peripheral sensory nervature, inadequate nutrients and blood tissue supply. The most significant hallmark of chronic wounds is heavily aberrant immune skin function. The immune response in humans relies on a large network of signalling molecules and their interactions. Research studies have reported on the dual role of host defence peptides (HDPs), which are also often called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Their duality reflects their potential for acting as antibacterial peptides, and as immunodulators that assist in modulating several biological signalling pathways related to processes such as wound healing, autoimmune disease, and others. HDPs may differentially control gene regulation and alter the behaviour of epithelial and immune cells, resulting in modulation of immune responses. In this review, we shed light on the understanding and most recent advances related to molecular mechanisms and immune modulatory features of host defence peptides in human skin wound healing. Understanding their functional role in skin immunity may further inspire topical treatments for chronic wounds.
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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Antimicrobial peptides
- Chronic wounds
- Host defence peptides
- Skin immune response
- Skin wound healing