The role of lactoferrin as an anti-inflammatory molecule

Adv Exp Med Biol. 1994;357:143-56. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-2548-6_14.


The formation of hydroxyl radical via the iron catalyzed Haber-Weiss reaction has been implicated in phagocyte-mediated microbicidal activity and inflammatory tissue injury. The fact that neutrophils contain lactoferrin and mononuclear phagocytes have the capacity to acquire exogenous iron has suggested that iron bound to lactoferrin may influence the nature of free radical products generated by these cells. Over the years the iron-lactoferrin complex has been heralded as both a promoter and inhibitor of hydroxyl radical formation. This manuscript is intended to provide an overview of work performed to date related to this controversy and to present results of a number of preliminary studies which shed further light on the role of lactoferrin in inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism
  • Blood Bactericidal Activity
  • Endopeptidases / pharmacology
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyl Radical / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Lactoferrin / chemistry
  • Lactoferrin / metabolism
  • Lactoferrin / physiology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Oxidants / pharmacology
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phagocytes / physiology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Free Radicals
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Oxidants
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • lactoferrin receptors
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Iron
  • Endopeptidases
  • Lactoferrin