Human lactoferrin induces asthmatic symptoms in NC/Nga mice

Kenjiro Nagaoka, Tatsuo Ito, Keiki Ogino, Eri Eguchi, Yoshihisa Fujikura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Lactoferrin in commercial supplements is known to exert anti-viral and anti-allergic effects. However, this is the first study to evaluate the induction of allergic airway inflammation in NC/Nga mice. Human lactoferrin was administered intraperitoneally with aluminum oxide for sensitization. Five days later, lactoferrin was inoculated intranasally for 5 days, and then on the 12th day, the single inoculation of lactoferrin intranasally was performed as a challenge. On the 13th day, airway hypersensitivity was assessed (AHR), a bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) cell analysis was conducted, serum IgE and serum lactoferrin-specific IgG and IgE levels as well as the mRNA expression levels of cytokines and chemokines in the lung were measured, and a histopathological analysis of the lung was performed. Human lactoferrin increased AHR, the number of eosinophils in BALF, serum lactoferrin-specific IgG levels, and the mRNA levels of IL-13, eotaxin 1, and eotaxin 2. Moreover, the accumulation of inflammatory cells around the bronchus and the immunohistochemical localization of arginase I and human lactoferrin were detected. Collectively, these results indicate that human lactoferrin induced allergic airway inflammation in mice. Therefore, the commercial use of human lactoferrin in supplements warrants more intensive study.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13365
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Asthma
  • bronchus
  • human lactoferrin
  • inflammation
  • lung

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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