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Int Immunopharmacol. 2005 Mar;5(3):591-9.

Lactoferrin augments BCG vaccine efficacy to generate T helper response and subsequent protection against challenge with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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MSB 2.214 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine-Program in Molecular Pathology, 6431 Fannin, UTHHSC, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The ability to control intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection relies on cellular immunity and generation of a strong T-cell helper 1 (T(H)1) response. Lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein with immune regulatory functions, was investigated as an adjuvant to boost Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) efficacy. Lactoferrin was initially shown to augment IL-12(p40) production from macrophages stimulated with LPS. A single immunization of mice with Lactoferrin as an adjunct adjuvant resulted in amplified splenocyte proliferative response to heat-killed BCG, and elevated IL-12(p40) production with increased relative ratios of IL-12/IL-10. Furthermore, splenocyte recall response to HK-BCG was augmented for proinflammatory mediators, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6, approaching responses generated to complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) immunized controls. Specific responses were identified, with significant elevation of IFN-gamma generated during antigenic recall. Subsequent aerosol challenge of Lactoferrin adjuvant immunized mice with virulent M. tuberculosis revealed decreased mycobacterial loads in the lung, and limitation of organism dissemination to a peripheral organ (spleen). These studies indicate that Lactoferrin can act as an adjunct adjuvant to augment cellular immunity and boost BCG efficacy for protection against subsequent challenge with virulent MTB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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