Host defense peptides (HDPs) are well-characterized for their antimicrobial activities but also variously display potent immunomodulatory effects. Human β-defensin 3 (HBD-3) belongs to a well-known HDP family known as defensins and is able to induce leukocyte chemotactic recruitment, leukocyte activation/maturation, proinflammatory cytokine release, and co-stimulatory marker expression. HBD-3-stimulated cytokine induction is NF-κB-dependent and was initially suggested to act via G protein-coupled C-C chemokine receptor phospholipase C (PLC) and/or Toll-like receptor signaling. Subsequent pharmacological inhibition, however, revealed that NF-κB activation by HBD-3 is receptor-independent and instead involves the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-protein kinase B (Akt) pathway, the mechanism of which remains undetermined. Recently, we have shown that HBD-3 can enter mammalian cells and bind to inner membrane phosphoinositide 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2], an important second lipid messenger of PLC and PI3K-Akt pathways. In this study, we report that the interaction of HBD-3 with PI(4,5)P2 is important for PI3K-Akt-NF-κΒ-mediated induction of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6. These data provide insights into the mechanism of immunomodulation by HBD-3, and more generally, highlight the complex multifaceted signaling roles of HDPs in innate defense. Furthermore, it is suggested that the proposed mode of action may be conserved in other HDPs.