Therapeutic effects of lactoferrin in ocular diseases: From dry eye disease to Infections. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Therapeutic Effects of Lactoferrin in Ocular Diseases: From Dry Eye Disease to Infections.
Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 12 ;21(18). Epub 2020 Sep 12. PMID: 32932574
Lactoferrin is a naturally occurring iron-binding glycoprotein, produced and secreted by mucosal epithelial cells and neutrophils in various mammalian species, including humans. It is typically found in fluids like saliva, milk and tears, where it reaches the maximum concentration. Thanks to its unique anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, topical application of lactoferrin plays a crucial role in the maintenance of a healthy ocular surface system. The present review aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the clinical applications of lactoferrin in ocular diseases. Besides the well-known antibacterial effect, novel interest has been rising towards its potential application in the field of dry eye and viral infections. A growing body of evidence supports the antimicrobial efficacy of lactoferrin, which is not limited to its iron-chelating properties but also depends on its capability to directly interact with pathogen particles while playing immunomodulatory effects. Nowadays, lactoferrin antiviral activity is of special interest, since lactoferrin-based eye drops could be adopted to treat/prevent the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, which has conjunctivitis among its possible clinical manifestations. In the future, further data from randomized controlled studies are desirable to confirm the efficacy of lactoferrin in the wide range of ocular conditions where it can be used.