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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Ophthalmology - Physiology

Dietary Lactoferrin Alleviates Age-Related Lacrimal Gland Dysfunction in Mice
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Author: Motoko Kawashima et al.

by Motoko Kawashima, Tetsuya Kawakita, Takaaki Inaba, Naoko Okada, Masataka Ito, Shigeto Shimmura, Mitsuhiro Watanabe, Ken Shinmura, Kazuo Tsubota

Background

Decrease in lacrimal gland secretory function is related to age-induced dry eye disease. Lactoferrin, the main glycoprotein component of tears, has multiple functions, including anti-inflammatory effects and the promotion of cell growth. We investigated how oral administration of lactoferrin affects age-related lacrimal dysfunction.

Methods and Findings

Twelve-month-old male C57BL/6Cr Slc mice were randomly divided into a control fed group and an oral lactoferrin treatment group. Tear function was measured at a 6-month time-point. After euthanasia, the lacrimal glands were subjected to histological examination with 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) antibodies, and serum concentrations of 8-OHdG and hexanoyl-lysine adduct (HEL) were evaluated. Additionally, monocyte chemotactic protein-1(MCP-1) and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) gene expression levels were determined by real-time PCR. The volume of tear secretion was significantly larger in the treated group than in the control. Lactoferrin administration reduced inflammatory cell infiltration and the MCP-1 and TNF-a expression levels. Serum concentrations of 8-OHdG and HEL in the lactoferrin group were lower than those in the control group and were associated with attenuated 8-OHdG immunostaining of the lacrimal glands.

Conclusion

Oral lactoferrin administration preserves lacrimal gland function in aged mice by attenuating oxidative damage and suppressing subsequent gland inflammation.

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