Liver diseases, which can be caused by alcohol abuse, chemical intoxication, viral hepatitis infection, and autoimmune disorders, are a significant health issue because they can develop into liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Lactoferrin (LF), a siderophilic protein with 2 iron-binding sites, has been demonstrated to possess a multitude of biological functions, including antiinflammation, anticancer, and antimicrobial effects, as well as immunomodulatory-enhancing functions. In the current study, we induced hepatotoxicity in rats with dimethylnitrosamine (DMN) to establish a situation that would enable us to evaluate the hepatoprotective effects of LF against hepatic injury. Our results showed that DMN-induced hepatic pathological damage significantly decreased the body weight and liver index, increased the mRNA and protein levels of collagen α-1(I) (ColIα-1) and α-smooth muscle actin, and increased the hydroxyproline content. However, treatment with LF significantly increased body weight and liver index, decreased the mRNA and protein levels of ColIα-1 and α-smooth muscle actin, and suppressed the hydroxyproline content when compared with the DMN-treated group. Liver histopathology also showed that low-dose LF (100. mg/kg of body weight) or high-dose LF (300. mg/kg of body weight) could significantly reduce the incidences of liver lesions induced by DMN. These results suggest that the LF exhibits potent hepatoprotection against DMN-induced liver damage in rats and that the hepatoprotective effects of LF may be due to the inhibition of collagen production and to stellate cell activation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology