Lactoferrin, a member of the “Siderophilin” family, is an iron binding glycoprotein. Lactoferrin is produced by various exocrine glands in our body and is abundantly present in milk and colostrums. The uniqueness of lactoferrin as a skeletal regenerative molecule lies in its ability to favorably modulate the responses of the various cell types involved in musculoskeletal regeneration. Lactoferrin exhibits pleiotropic functions and recent studies indicate that lactoferrin promotes the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblast cells and inhibits osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Human lactoferrin is also known to promote neovascularization. This review aims to summarize the most recent studies on lactoferrin focusing on its anabolic effect to bone tissue and the ability to modulate immune responses with specific focus on osteoimmunology.
Keywords: lactoferrin, bone regeneration, immunoregulation, angiogenesis, Siderophilin, glycoprotein, skeletal tissue, glycosylation, osteoclastogenesis, immuno-expression
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