The effects of local administration of lactoferrin on inflammation in murine autoimmune and infectious arthritis

Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Sep;43(9):2073-80. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200009)43:9<2073::AID-ANR19>3.0.CO;2-U.


Objective: To determine whether lactoferrin can modify articular inflammation in murine models of autoimmune and septic arthritis.

Methods: Collagen arthritis was induced in DBA/1 mice and Staphylococcus aureus septic arthritis in Swiss mice. Joints with established inflammation were injected periarticularly with 0.5 mg or 1 mg of human lactoferrin, and arthritis was monitored for 3 days.

Results: DBA/1 mice injected with lactoferrin showed significantly suppressed local inflammation for up to 3 days, achieving up to 71% of the effect of corticosteroid. Periarticular injection of 125I-lactoferrin confirmed that 25% of lactoferrin was retained in paws after 6 hours. Serum levels of interleukin-6, however, were not significantly reduced, suggesting a predominantly local antiinflammatory effect. Similarly, local, periarticular administration of lactoferrin into S aureus-infected Swiss mice significantly suppressed paw inflammation and did not enhance bacterial survival.

Conclusion: Lactoferrin may have clinical utility in reducing articular inflammation, particularly in septic arthritis, in which antiinflammatory effects may be achieved without promoting bacterial survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Arthritis / chemically induced
  • Arthritis, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / immunology*
  • Collagen
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Joints / chemistry
  • Lactoferrin / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Collagen
  • Lactoferrin