Lactoferrin interacts with bile acids and increases fecal cholesterol excretion in rats1

Kanae Nakamura, Satoru Morishita, Tomoji Ono, Michiaki Murakoshi, Keikichi Sugiyama, Hisanori Kato, Ikuo Ikeda, Hoyoku Nishino

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Lactoferrin (LF) is a multifunctional cationic protein (pI 8.2-8.9) in mammalian milk. We previously reported that enteric-LF prevented hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis in a diet-induced atherosclerosis model using Microminipig, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Because LF is assumed to electrostatically interact with bile acids to inhibit intestinal cholesterol absorption, LF could promote cholesterol excretion. In this study, we assessed the interaction between LF and taurocholate in vitro, and the effect of LF on cholesterol excretion in rats. The binding rate of taurocholate to LF was significantly higher than that to transferrin (pI 5.2-6.3). When rats were administered a high-cholesterol diet (HCD) containing 5% LF, LF was detected using ELISA in the upper small intestine from 7.5 to 60 min after the administration. Rats were fed one of the following diets: control, HCD, or HCD + 5% LF for 21 days. Fecal neutral steroids and hepatic cholesterol levels in the HCD group were significantly higher than those in the control group. The addition of LF to a HCD significantly increased fecal neutral steroids levels (22% increase, p < 0.05) and reduced hepatic cholesterol levels (17% decrease, p < 0.05). These parameters were inversely correlated (R = -0.63, p < 0.05). These results suggest that LF promotes cholesterol excretion via interactions with bile acids.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)142-147
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiochemistry and Cell Biology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Bile acid
    • Cholesterol
    • Hypercholesterolemia
    • Lactoferrin
    • Rats

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology


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