Oral lactoferrin treatment resolves amoebic intracecal infection in C3H/HeJ mice1

León-Sicairos, Nidia; Martínez-Pardo, Leonardo; Sánchez-Hernández, Beatriz; de la Garza, Mireya; Carrero, Julio César
June 2012
Biochemistry & Cell Biology;Jun2012, Vol. 90 Issue 3, p435
Academic Journal
Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite that causes amoebiasis, an illness that affects many people around the world. We have previously reported that lactoferrin is able to kill E. histolytica in in vitro cultures. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic effect of orally administered bovine lactoferrin in the control of intestinal amoebiasis of susceptible C3H/HeJ mice. The results showed that 20 mg lactoferrin/kg orally administered each day for 1 week was able to eliminate the infection in 63% of the mice, since neither trophozoites nor evidence of epithelial damage and (or) swelling were found in tissue sections of the cecum. The rest of the treated animals (37%) showed a decrease in trophozoite numbers and mucus secreted to the lumen, as compared with untreated and infected mice ( p < 0.05). By immunohistochemistry, the profile of secreted cytokines in the cecum revealed that infected but untreated animals showed a mixed Th1/regulatory cytokines profile, whereas the cecum of mice treated (cured) showed a Th2 cytokine profile (IL-4) and expression of the multifunctional IL-6. In addition, cytokines and increasing cecal production of total IgA antibodies were found associated with little inflammation and disease control observed in the cecum of lactoferrin-treated animals. These results suggest that oral administration of lactoferrin can control intestinal amoebic infection probably by killing amoebas or favoring their removal and reestablish the antiinflammatory intestinal environment.


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