Lactoferrin: potential functions, pharmacological insights, and therapeutic promises
Authors: Kazi Ahsan Ahmed, Abu Saim Mohammad Saikat, Akhi Moni, Sadia Akhter Mallik Kakon, Md. Rashedul Islam, Md Jamal Uddin*
Abstract: Lactoferrin (LF) is an iron-binding multifunctional glycoprotein, act as a natural protective agent. In general, LF is involved in various physiological activities, including antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, anticarcinogenic and iron metabolism. The LF is most frequently found in milk as well as many other exocrine secretions such as saliva, bronchial mucus, seminal fluids, and gastrointestinal fluids, respectively. Increased expression and secretion of LF may play a significant role in the first line of host defense. One of the primary functions of LF is to scavenge free iron in fluids and inflamed areas to avoid free radical-facilitated damage. LF influences the proliferation, maturation, and activity of immune cells at the cellular level. LF plays a significant protective role in inflammation, oxidative stress, fibrosis, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, autophagy dysfunction, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Also, LF was found protective against various pathologies including anemia, sepsis, and diarrhoea in clinical settings. This article reviews the protective role of LF against different pathophysiological conditions and its therapeutic advances as well as further research prospects.