Author(s): Legrand D, Elass E, Carpentier M, Mazurier J
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Abstract The antimicrobial activities of lactoferrin (Lf) depend on its capacity to bind iron and on its direct interaction with the surface of microorganisms. Its protective effect also extends to the regulation of the host response to infections. Depending on the immune status of an individual, Lf can have anti-inflammatory properties that downregulate the immune response and prevent septic shock and damage to tissues. It also acts as a promoter of the activation, differentiation, and (or) proliferation of immune cells. Although most of the anti-inflammatory activities are correlated with the neutralization of proinflammatory molecules by Lf, the promoting activity seems to be related to a direct effect of Lf on immune cells. Although the mechanisms that govern these activities are not clearly defined, and probably differ from cell to cell, several cellular targets and possible mechanisms of action are highlighted. The majority of the molecular targets at the surface of cells are multiligand receptors but, interestingly, most of them have been reported as signaling, endocytosis, and nuclear-targeting molecules. This review focuses on the known and putative mechanisms that allow the immunoregulating effect of Lf in its interactions with immune cells.
This article was published in Biochem Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine