Author(s): Onishi H
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Recently, pharmacotherapy has advanced extensively, but there are still many refractory diseases which cannot be solved fully by existing therapeutic agents. Therefore, alternative medicine and health foods are now attracting much attention, for example, lactoferrin (LF): a multifunctional glycoprotein. As LF is non-toxic and low-cost, its application in healthcare and therapeutics is expected to be widespread. AREAS COVERED: In this review, LF's general basic features are described. The interaction of LF with its receptors activates the immune system, including cytokine production and balance. In particular, the immune activation of orally administered LF is considered as a new strategy for the treatment of refractory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, virus infection and tumor metastasis. Also mentioned are the problems associated with the use of LF. As LF is degraded rapidly in the body due to enzymatic hydrolysis, high amounts or frequent dosing is required; an appropriate delivery system may improve these problems and increase its efficiency. EXPERT OPINION: Chemical modifications, such as PEGylation, can enhance the stability of LF in the body, resulting in increased efficacy. Also, liposomes and enteric or microparticulate formulations can promote the function of LF in oral administration due to target site delivery and protection of LF from enzymatic hydrolysis. These delivery systems are expected to improve the utility of LF.
This article was published in Expert Opin Drug Deliv
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine