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Does Human Lactoferrin in the Milk of Transgenic Mice Deliver Iron to Suckling Neonates?

  • Linda H. Hanson
  • Valerie Sawicki
  • Andrew Lewis
  • Jan H. Nuijens
  • Margaret C. Neville
  • Peifang Zhang
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 501)

Abstract

Lactoferrin is an iron-binding glycoprotein abundantly present in human milk, and has been postulated both to increase and to decrease intestinal iron absorption. To examine this problem, the interaction of milk iron with pup hemoglobin was studied in controls and in transgenic mice overexpressing human lactoferrin in their milk (2 lines expressing 12 mg/mL and 4 mg/mL, respectively). At day 14 of gestation, pregnant mice were switched from a diet of commercial chow containing iron at 300mg/kg to diets containing 5, 15, or 50 mg iron/kg; controls continued on chow. Nontransgenic pups were cross-fostered to transgenic dams to ensure that any results found in the pups were the effect of milk components. The hemoglobin level in the blood of 10-day-old suckling neonates was measured and calculated as total hemoglobin per pup. The total hemoglobin levels were lower in the pups receiving milk high in human lactoferrin, but the difference reached significance (P < 0.02) only at the highest level of dietary iron. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that lactoferrin functions as an intestinal iron scavenger, at least at high doses.

Keywords

Human Milk Iron Status Intestinal Brush Border Human Lactoferrin Bovine Lactoferrin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda H. Hanson
    • 1
  • Valerie Sawicki
    • 1
  • Andrew Lewis
    • 1
  • Jan H. Nuijens
    • 2
  • Margaret C. Neville
    • 1
  • Peifang Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver
  2. 2.Pharming BVLeidenThe Netherlands

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