[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactoferrin (LF) is an iron-binding protein found in milk, mucosal secretions, and the secondary granules of neutrophils in which it is considered to be an important factor in the innate immune response against microbial infections. Moreover, LF deficiency in the secondary granules of neutrophils has long been speculated to contribute directly to the hypersusceptibility of specific granule deficiency (SGD) patients to severe, life-threatening bacterial infections. However, the exact physiological significance of LF in neutrophil-mediated host defense mechanisms remains controversial and has not yet been clearly established in vivo using relevant animal models. In this study, we used lactoferrin knockout (LFKO) mice to directly address the selective role of LF in the host defense response of neutrophils and to determine its contribution, if any, to the phenotype of SGD. Neutrophil maturation, migration, phagocytosis, granule release, and antimicrobial response to bacterial challenge were unaffected in LFKO mice. Interestingly, a stimulus-dependent defect in the oxidative burst response of LFKO neutrophils was observed in that normal activation was seen in response to opsonized bacteria whereas an impaired response was evident after phorbol myristate-13-acetate stimulation. Taken together, these results indicate that although LF deficiency alone is not a primary cause of the defects associated with SGD, this protein does play an immunomodulatory role in the oxidative burst response of neutrophils.
American Journal Of Pathology 05/2008; 172(4):1019-29. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactoferrin is a member of the transferrin family of iron-binding glycoproteins present in milk, mucosal secretions, and the secondary granules of neutrophils. While several physiological functions have been proposed for lactoferrin, including the regulation of intestinal iron uptake, the exact function of this protein in vivo remains to be established. To directly assess the physiological functions of lactoferrin, we have generated lactoferrin knockout (LFKO(-/-)) mice by homologous gene targeting. LFKO(-/-) mice are viable and fertile, develop normally, and display no overt abnormalities. A comparison of the iron status of suckling offspring from LFKO(-/-) intercrosses and from wild-type (WT) intercrosses showed that lactoferrin is not essential for iron delivery during the postnatal period. Further, analysis of adult mice on a basal or a high-iron diet revealed no differences in transferrin saturation or tissue iron stores between WT and LFKO(-/-) mice on either diet, although the serum iron levels were slightly elevated in LFKO-/- mice on the basal diet. Consistent with the relatively normal iron status, in situ hybridization analysis demonstrated that lactoferrin is not expressed in the postnatal or adult intestine. Collectively, these results support the conclusion that lactoferrin does not play a major role in the regulation of iron homeostasis.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 02/2003; 23(1):178-85. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactoferrin is a member of the transferrin family of iron-binding glycoproteins. Lactoferrin is induced by estrogen in the mouse uterus during early pregnancy. However, the expression and function, if any, of lactoferrin in the preimplantation embryo during this developmental period has not been investigated. In the current study, the spatiotemporal expression of lactoferrin during murine embryogenesis was examined using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical analyses. Lactoferrin expression was first detected in the 2-4 cell fertilized embryo and continued until the blastocyst stage of development. Interestingly, at the 16-cell stage, coinciding with the first major differentiation step in the embryo, lactoferrin messenger RNA (mRNA) is synthesized by the inner cells, whereas the protein is selectively taken up by the outside cells. This differential pattern of lactoferrin messenger RNA and protein localization continues until the blastocyst stage, with expression almost absent in the hatched blastocyst. Lactoferrin expression does not resume in the embryo until the latter half of gestation, where it is first detected in neutrophils of the fetal liver at embryonic day 11.5 and later in epithelial cells of the respiratory and digestive systems. Our results show that lactoferrin is expressed in a tightly regulated spatiotemporal manner during murine embryogenesis and suggest a novel paracrine role for this protein in the development of the trophoectodermal lineage during preimplantation development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epithelial and stromal compartments of the uterus undergo significant estrogen- and progesterone (P4)-induced changes during the estrous cycle. While in the adult mouse, epithelial proliferation and stromal inflammation are induced by estrogen, P4 is antiproliferative in the epithelium and both proliferative and anti-inflammatory in the stroma. In light of these compartmentally varying roles, we have immunohistochemically examined estrogen and P4 regulation of the expression of their receptors (ER and PR) and their epithelial target gene lactoferrin (LF) in wild-type and PR null mutant mice. We demonstrate that estrogen exerts compartment-specific effects on the expression of ER, resulting in decreased levels of stromal and glandular epithelial (GE) ER and increased luminal epithelial (LE) and myometrial ER. Estrogen also has dual effects on PR expression, decreasing levels in the LE while at the same time increasing levels in the stroma and myometrium. Estrogen and P4 together mediate their effects in part through the ability of P4 to selectively inhibit myometrial ER expression while preserving GE expression. We also demonstrate a general negative feedback by P4 on PR expression that is most prominent in the GE. Finally, we demonstrate using the estrogen- and P4-responsive epithelial target gene LF that the differential regulation of PR in the glandular and luminal epithelium results in different functional responses of these compartments to P4. Together, our data indicate that the pleiotropic effects of estrogen and P4 in the adult mouse uterus are mediated by complex hormonal interregulation of ER and PR in specific uterine compartments.
Biology of Reproduction 12/1998; 59(5):1143-52. · 4.03 Impact Factor