Cathelicidins are small cationic antimicrobial peptides, whose essential roles in several distinct
pathophysiological processes, including antimicrobial activity, cell proliferation and migration, immune-
regulatory function, angiogenesis and wound healing, have been thoroughly scrutinized in the
past two decades. In this review, several lines of new evidence are provided to show another novel
function of cathelicidins, including LL-37 in humans and a mouse ortholog of LL-37, i.e., murine
cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide (mCRAMP), in the inhibition of osteoclast formation and
function. Moreover, LL-37 can function to accelerate bone regeneration in a model of rat calvarial
bone defect. All of these latest findings point toward an emerging role of cathelicidins in bone biology.
With the implication of cathelicidins in bone metabolism, it is hoped that the cathelicidins will be
therapeutically beneficial for future clinical uses in dentistry, especially for bone regeneration in a
common bone-resorbing disease like periodontitis.