PloS one

Lactoferrin dampens high-fructose corn syrup-induced hepatic manifestations of the metabolic syndrome in a murine model.

PMID 24816278


Hepatic manifestations of the metabolic syndrome are related obesity, type 2 diabetes/insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Here we investigated how the anti-inflammatory properties of lactoferrin can protect against the onset of hepatic manifestations of the metabolic syndrome by using a murine model administered with high-fructose corn syrup. Our results show that a high-fructose diet stimulates intestinal bacterial overgrowth and increases intestinal permeability, leading to the introduction of endotoxin into blood circulation and liver. Immunohistochemical staining of Toll-like receptor-4 and thymic stromal lymphopoietin indicated that lactoferrin can modulate lipopolysaccharide-mediated inflammatory cascade. The important regulatory roles are played by adipokines including interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and adiponectin, ultimately reducing hepatitis and decreasing serum alanine aminotransferase release. These beneficial effects of lactoferrin related to the downregulation of the lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory cascade in the liver. Furthermore, lactoferrin reduced serum and hepatic triglycerides to prevent lipid accumulation in the liver, and reduced lipid peroxidation, resulting in 4-hydroxynonenal accumulation. Lactoferrin reduced oral glucose tolerance test and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance. Lactoferrin administration thus significantly lowered liver weight, resulting from a decrease in the triglyceride and cholesterol synthesis that activates hepatic steatosis. Taken together, these results suggest that lactoferrin protected against high-fructose corn syrup induced hepatic manifestations of the metabolic syndrome.