Vaginal lactoferrin administration before genetic amniocentesis decreases amniotic interleukin-6 levels

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2014;77(4):245-9. doi: 10.1159/000358877. Epub 2014 Mar 7.


Aim: To verify the eventual efficacy of lactoferrin (LF), an iron-binding glycoprotein, to decrease the amniotic concentration of interleukin-6 (IL-6).

Methods: We prospectively enrolled 60 Caucasian patients at the 16th week of their singleton physiological gestation. A vaginal compound containing 300 mg of LF was administered randomly 4 or 12 h prior to amniocentesis, as to obtain 3 groups: A, 20 untreated patients; B, 20 treated 4 h before amniocentesis; C, 20 treated 12 h before amniocentesis.

Results: A normal karyotype was registered in all cases. The comparison of the distribution of IL-6 among the 3 groups showed a highly significant difference (p = 0.001). The difference between mean values of group B and both groups C and A was shown to be highly significant (p = 0.006 and p = 0.03, respectively). In contrast, there was no significant difference between mean values of groups A and C.

Conclusion: Vaginal LF administration decreases amniotic IL-6 concentration. We therefore suggest that the glycoprotein may exert a protective role against ominous pregnancy complications linked to an increased level of the cytokine, such as abortion secondary to amniocentesis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Adult
  • Amniocentesis*
  • Amniotic Fluid / drug effects*
  • Amniotic Fluid / metabolism
  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Lactoferrin / administration & dosage
  • Lactoferrin / pharmacology*
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Pregnancy / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy / metabolism
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lactoferrin