Oral administration of lactoferrin (LF), an innate-defense protein present in exocrine secretions such as milk and in neutrophils, is reported to improve host-protection against infections with microorganisms including pathogenic fungi, possibly due to an immunomodulatory effect. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of bovine LF feeding on peritoneal macrophage activities in mice intraperitoneally injected with inactivated Candida albicans. Time course analysis during the 14 days following Candida-priming revealed that LF administration slightly increased the number of peritoneal exudate cells, and significantly enhanced the production of superoxide anion (O2(-)) and nitric oxide (NO) by peritoneal macrophages at day 7. LF administration facilitated NO production and Candida hyphal-growth inhibition by macrophages derived from Candida-primed mice but not non-primed mice, suggesting that the action of LF is dependent on the immune status of the host. LF administration altered the kinetics of cytokines in the peritoneal lavage fluid of Candida-primed mice. Enhancement of cytokine levels by LF was observed for IL-12 at day 5 and IFN-gamma at day 9, but not for TNF-alpha or IL-10. In conclusion, LF feeding augmented the activities of macrophages in a manner dependent on Candida-priming and these effects may be related to enhanced cytokine levels.
Wakabayashi H, Takakura N, Teraguchi S, Tamura Y. Lactoferrin feeding augments peritoneal macrophage activities in mice intraperitoneally injected with inactivated Candida albicans. Microbiol Immunol. 2003 November Nutritional Science Laboratory, Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd., Zama, Kanagawa 228-8583, Japan.