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Int J Exp Pathol. 1993 Oct; 74(5): 433–439.
PMCID: PMC2002183

Lactoferrin regulates the release of tumour necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 6 in vivo.


The effects of bovine lactoferrin on the serum cytokine levels, induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in mice, are described. Bovine lactoferrin (BLF) introduced intravenously, 24 hours before i.v. injection of 50 micrograms of LPS, significantly lowered the serum concentration of TNF-alpha. Doses of BLF lower than 100 micrograms as well as pretreatment of mice with BLF on days 6-2 or 12-2 hours before LPS challenge, were not effective. Moreover, BLF induces by itself a relatively high level of IL-6, peaking at 1 hour following injection. Pretreatment of LPS-injected mice with BLF causes, in addition, a small but statistically significant drop in IL-6 level. Human albumin, used as a control protein, did not cause any changes in the cytokine levels. The data reported herein provide a satisfactory explanation with regard to preventive activity of LF in infection.

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