Lactoferrin moderates LPS-induced hypotensive response and gut injury in rats

Int Immunopharmacol. 2013 Feb;15(2):227-31. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2012.12.009. Epub 2012 Dec 23.


Hypotension is a physiologic state of low blood pressure, the causes of which range from dehydration to underlying serious medical disorders. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of lactoferrin (LF), a natural immunomodulator, to restrain LPS-induced hypotension in rats. LF has previously demonstrated a role in mediation of immune responses, including control of inflammatory cytokine production during acute inflammation. Rats were administered with LF by gavage at 1h or 18 h prior to LPS injections. Heart rate (HR) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) were continuously recorded post LPS administration for 6 h. Simultaneously to hemodynamic measurements, serum was examined for TNF-α, IL-6, and TGF-β production. At termination, the proximal duodenum was subjected to histopathological analysis. LF administered at 1h prior to LPS protected rats from the LPS-induced hypotension. The protective effect on MAP was also apparent when LF was administered as a pretreatment 18 h prior to LPS challenge, although the effect was lessened. For all groups, LF pretreatment led to a minor, but insignificant, improvement in HR post LPS administration. In addition, when rats were given LF 1 h before LPS, they showed a significant decrease in serum TNF-α and IL-6 production. LF did not affect the production level of serum TGF-β. Of high importance, LF was able to confer histo-pathological protection of intestinal tissue post LPS administration, for both the 1h and 18 h LF pretreatment groups. These studies indicate a potential for clinical utility of LF to control hypotension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterial Pressure / drug effects
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Duodenum / drug effects*
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hypotension / chemically induced
  • Hypotension / drug therapy*
  • Hypotension / immunology
  • Immunologic Factors / administration & dosage*
  • Immunologic Factors / adverse effects
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Lactoferrin / administration & dosage*
  • Lactoferrin / adverse effects
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Cytokines
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Lactoferrin