Lactoferrin (Lf) is a molecule naturally present in bovine milk that affects the availability and transport systems of iron. Lf also binds endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) of Gram-negative bacteria and modulates the immunological response. In the present study, concentrations of bovine Lf (bLf) and citrate in milk were determined in early (EL) and late (LL) lactating dairy cows, using an experimentally induced endotoxin mastitis model and a crossover design. Nine clinically healthy Finnish Ayrshire cows were challenged twice with 100 μg endotoxin infused into one udder quarter. Milk samples were collected from the challenged and control quarters of each cow before and after endotoxin infusion during 3 d, and bLf and citrate concentrations were measured. In all cows, clinical signs of mastitis were seen at both times of challenge, but the response was more severe in EL than in LL. Concentration of bLf in the milk started to rise approximately 8 h after endotoxin infusion and was still higher than normal on the third day, especially in the late-lactating cows. In milk of the LL group, concentrations of bLf were significantly higher than in the EL group. In contrast, concentrations of citrate were higher in milk of the EL cows compared with the LL cows. Concentration of bLf and citrate varied substantially among cows. The molar ratio of citrate to bLf before and after challenge was significantly higher during the EL period. The results of this study partly explain why cows in early lactation are more susceptible to intramammary infections and why mastitis is more severe in them.