Lactoferrin: Mechanism of action, clinical significance and therapeutic relevance

Giulia Martina Cavestro, Veronica Iori, Nadia Dal Bò, Angelo Franzè, Anna Virginia Ingegnoli, Nicola Mantovani, Alberto Pilotto, Francesco Di Mario, Giovanni Aragona, Nadia Altavilla, Anna Bertelè, Loris Borghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lactoferrin is an iron binding protein involved in a large spectrum of biological actions including antimicrobial actions. Lactoferrin plays a central role in ferrokinetics: it binds free iron with great affinity limiting the amount of ions available for microorganism's metabolism. Its role in the host defence mechanisms consists in bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects; moreover it inhibits the proliferation of other microbes such as fungi and viruses. Lactoferrin is also involved in the modulation of immune system and recent studies indicate that lactoferrin directly modulates both production and function of neutrophils and monocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-73
Number of pages3
JournalActa Biomedica
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Lactoferrin
  • Modulation of immune system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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