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J Vet Med Sci. 2004 Feb;66(2):149-54.

Oral administration of lactoferrin inhibits inflammation and nociception in rat adjuvant-induced arthritis.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Physiology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, Japan.


Lactoferrin (LF) is a ubiquitous protein which exists in milk, plasma, synovial fluids, cerebrospinal fluid and other biological fluids. LF is also well known as a natural immunomodulator. Recently, we found that bovine milk-derived LF (BLF) produced micro-opioid receptor-mediated analgesia. In this study, we examined whether oral administration of BLF causes anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects, and also whether it modulates LPS-induced TNF-alpha and IL-10 production in rat model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), rat adjuvant arthritis. BLF was administrated once daily, starting 3 hr before (preventive experiment) or 19 days after (therapeutic experiment) adjuvant injection. In both experiments, BLF suppressed the development of arthritis and the hyperalgesia in the adjuvant-injected paw. The single-administered BLF produced a dose-dependent analgesia, which was reversed by naloxone, in the adjuvant arthritis rats. Both repeated and single administration of BLF suppressed TNF-alpha production and increased IL-10 production in the LPS-stimulated adjuvant arthritis rats. These results suggest that orally administered BLF has both preventive and therapeutic effects on the development of adjuvant-induced inflammation and pain. Moreover, the immunomodulatory properties of BLF, such as down-regulation of TNF-alpha and up-regulation of IL-10, could be beneficial in the treatment of RA. Thus, we concluded that LF can be safely used as a natural drug for RA patients suffering from joint pain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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