Lactoferrin Secretion into Mouse Milk

Development of Secretory Activity, the Localization of Lactoferrin in the Secretory Pathway, and Interactions of Lactoferrin with Milk Iron
  • Margaret C. Neville
  • Katie Chatfield
  • Linda Hansen
  • Andrew Lewis
  • Jenifer Monks
  • Jan Nuijens
  • Michelle Ollivier-Bousquet
  • Floyd Schanbacher
  • Valery Sawicki
  • Peifang Zhang
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 443)


Lactoferrin, one of four major protein components of human milk, has long been thought to protect the breast and the infant against infection through its bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal activity1. However, it has also been reported to stimulate growth of the infant intestine2 and to modulate the activity of immune cells3. Lactoferrin shows both tissue-specific and species-specific regulation. In the mouse uterus, for example, it is clear that estrogen is a major regulator of lactoferrin secretion4. In humans and cows lactoferrin appears to be present in milk at higher levels during the onset of lactation5,6 and to decrease during established lactation. However, the actual rate of secretion is highly species-dependent. Lactoferrin secretion is especially low during established lactation in ruminants; correspondingly cows’ milk has less than 0.1 mg/ml lactoferrin5,7. In both human and cow mammary secretions lactoferrin concentrations are high at involution and in milk from the post-mastitic gland, a phenomenon that has been best documented in the cow5,8.


Mammary Gland Human Milk Mammary Epithelial Cell Secretion Product Mouse Mammary Gland 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret C. Neville
    • 1
  • Katie Chatfield
    • 1
  • Linda Hansen
    • 1
  • Andrew Lewis
    • 1
  • Jenifer Monks
    • 1
  • Jan Nuijens
    • 2
  • Michelle Ollivier-Bousquet
    • 3
  • Floyd Schanbacher
    • 4
  • Valery Sawicki
    • 1
  • Peifang Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Colorado, Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA
  2. 2.Pharming, B.V.LeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire et MoleculaireINRAJouy-en-JosasFrance
  4. 4.Ohio Agricultural Research and Development CompanyOhio State UniversityWoosterUSA

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