Liver Int. 2010 Apr ;30(4):623-32. Epub 2010 Jan 29. PMID: 20136718
Lactoferrin protects against concanavalin A-induced liver injury in mice.
BACKGROUND: Liver diseases, caused by viral infection, autoimmune conditions, alcohol ingestion or the use of certain drugs, are a significant health issue, as many can develop into liver failure. Lactoferrin (Lac) is an iron-binding glycoprotein that belongs to the transferrin family. Owing to its multiple biological functions, Lac has been evaluated in a number of clinical trials to treat infections, inflammation and cancer.AIM: The present study aims to reveal a profound hepatoprotective effect of Lac, using a mouse model of Concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis, which mimics the pathophysiology of human viral and autoimmune hepatitis.METHOD: C57Bl/6J mice were injected with bovine Lac following Con A challenge. The effects of Lac on interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-4 expression were determined. The roles of Lac on T-cell apoptosis and activation, and leukocytes infiltration were examined.RESULT: The data demonstrated that the protective effect of Lac was attributed to its ability to inhibit T-cell activation and production of IFN-gamma, as well as to suppress IL-4 production by hepatic natural killer T cells.CONCLUSION: These findings indicate a great therapeutic potential of Lac in treating in treating inflammatory hepatitis and possibly other inflammatory diseases.