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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 501; doi:10.3390/ijms18030501

Lactoferrin: Balancing Ups and Downs of Inflammation Due to Microbial Infections

1
Departamento de Sistemas Biológicos, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad Xochimilco (UAM-X), CdMx 04960, Mexico
2
Sección de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Escuela Superior de Medicina, Instituto Politécnico Nacional (ESM-IPN), CdMx 11340, Mexico
3
Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IIB-UNAM), CdMx 70228, Mexico
4
Departamento de Biología Celular, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), CdMx 07360, Mexico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paula Andrade and Patricia Valentão
Received: 7 January 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [699 KB, uploaded 1 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Lactoferrin (Lf) is a glycoprotein of the primary innate immune-defense system of mammals present in milk and other mucosal secretions. This protein of the transferrin family has broad antimicrobial properties by depriving pathogens from iron, or disrupting their plasma membranes through its highly cationic charge. Noteworthy, Lf also exhibits immunomodulatory activities performing up- and down-regulation of innate and adaptive immune cells, contributing to the homeostasis in mucosal surfaces exposed to myriad of microbial agents, such as the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Although the inflammatory process is essential for the control of invasive infectious agents, the development of an exacerbated or chronic inflammation results in tissue damage with life-threatening consequences. In this review, we highlight recent findings in in vitro and in vivo models of the gut, lung, oral cavity, mammary gland, and liver infections that provide experimental evidence supporting the therapeutic role of human and bovine Lf in promoting some parameters of inflammation and protecting against the deleterious effects of bacterial, viral, fungal and protozoan-associated inflammation. Thus, this new knowledge of Lf immunomodulation paves the way to more effective design of treatments that include native or synthetic Lf derivatives, which may be useful to reduce immune-mediated tissue damage in infectious diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: lactoferrin; innate immunity; inflammation; infections lactoferrin; innate immunity; inflammation; infections
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Drago-Serrano, M.E.; Campos-Rodríguez, R.; Carrero, J.C.; de la Garza, M. Lactoferrin: Balancing Ups and Downs of Inflammation Due to Microbial Infections. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 501.

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