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Bovine lactoferrin induces both mucosal and systemic immune response in mice

  • HAJER DEBBABI (a1), MICHEL DUBARRY (a1), MICHÈLE RAUTUREAU (a1) and DANIEL TOMÉ (a1)

Abstract

Lactoferrin (Lf) is a milk iron-binding glycoprotein that plays a role in iron transport and acts as both a bacteriostatic and a growth modulating agent. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of immune responses induced by repeated oral administration of bovine milk Lf in mice. Groups of ten female BALB/c mice were fed daily for 4 weeks with two doses of protein antigen: a low (0·05 mg/g body weight per d) or high (1 mg/g body weight per d) dose of Lf, or water as a control. A fourth group was immunized intramuscularly with 0·01 mg Lf in complete Freund's adjuvant. Anti-Lf IgA and IgG were detected in the intestinal fluid and serum of mice given Lf. Total immunoglobulins were higher in the intestinal fluid in Lf groups than in the control group. No difference could be detected in the serum. IgA and IgG secretion was enhanced in Peyer's patches and spleen from Lf-fed mice, in comparison with controls. [3H] thymidine uptake into Peyer's patch and spleen cells from both control and Lf-fed mice was enhanced by 75 μg Lf/ml in vitro, but Lf groups had a greater proliferation rate than the control group. These findings suggested that Lf could act as an immunostimulating factor on the mucosal immune system and that activation of the mucosal immune system is dependent on the ability of Lf to bind to the intestinal mucosa.

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Bovine lactoferrin induces both mucosal and systemic immune response in mice

  • HAJER DEBBABI (a1), MICHEL DUBARRY (a1), MICHÈLE RAUTUREAU (a1) and DANIEL TOMÉ (a1)

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