Therapeutic activity against oral candidiasis of orally administered bovine lactoferrin (LF), a multifunctional milk protein, was shown in a previous report using an immunosuppressed murine model. In the present study, the influence of orally administered LF on immune responses relevant to this therapeutic effect was examined. Because mice were immunosuppressed with prednisolone 1 day before and 3 days after the infection with Candida, the numbers of peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) and cervical lymph node (CLN) cells were reduced. LF feeding prevented the reduction in the numbers of PBL on day 1 and CLN cells on days 1, 5 and 6 in the Candida-infected mice. The number of CLN cells of individual mice on days 5 and 6 was inversely correlated with the Candida c.f.u. in the oral cavity. Increased production of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha by CLN cells stimulated with heat-killed Candida albicans on day 6 was observed in LF-treated mice compared with non-treated mice. Concanavalin A (ConA)-stimulated CLN cells from LF-treated mice also showed a significant increase in the production of IFN-gamma and IL12 on day 5 and a tendency for increased production of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha on day 6. The levels of cytokine production by ConA-stimulated CLN cells on day 6 were inversely correlated with the Candida c.f.u. in the oral cavity. In conclusion, the alleviation of oral candidiasis by LF feeding in this model may correlate with the enhancement of the number of leukocytes and their cytokine responses in regional lymph nodes against Candida infection.
Takakura N, Wakabayashi H, Ishibashi H, Yamauchi K, Teraguchi S, Tamura Y, Yamaguchi H, Abe S. Effect of orally administered bovine lactoferrin on the immune response in the oral candidiasis murine model. J Med Microbiol. 2004 June Nutritional Science Laboratory, Morinaga Milk Industry Co. Ltd, 5-1-83 Higashihara, Zama, Kanagawa 228-8583, Japan