Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from fish Epidermis: Perspectives for investigative dermatology

Sebastian Rakers*, Lars Niklasson, Dieter Steinhagen, Charli Kruse, Jürgen Schauber, Kristina Sundell, Ralf Paus

*Corresponding author for this work
28 Citations (Scopus)


Mammalian and fish skin share protective activities against environments that are rich in infectious agents. Fish epidermis is endowed with an extrinsic barrier consisting of a mucus layer and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These operate together as a protective chemical shield. As these AMPs are evolutionarily well preserved and also found in higher vertebrate skin (including human epidermis), fish skin offers a unique opportunity to study the origins of innate antimicrobial defense systems. Furthermore, the broad spectrum of fish mucus antimicrobial activities renders piscine AMPs interesting to investigative dermatology, as these may become exploitable for various indications in clinical dermatology. Therefore, this article aims at casting light on fish mucus, the evolutionary relationship between human and fish AMPs, and the latter's antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral activities. Moreover, we develop dermatological lessons from, and sketch potential future clinical applications of, fish mucus and piscine AMPs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1140-1149
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2013


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