Lactoferrin (Lf) is an iron-binding secretory protein present in breast milk, mucosal secretions, and the secondary granules of neutrophils, and its multiple functions include anti-microbial, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities. Lf is also present in cerebrospinal fluid, neurons and glial cells, and it accumulates in the brains of individuals with neurodegenerative disorders and elderly individuals. Lf activates integrin-dependent intracellular signals by binding to cell membrane-associated proteoglycans. Lf stimulates anchorage-independent growth and survival in neuronal cells. However, the role of Lf in neuronal cells is not fully understood. This article discusses the effect of Lf on neuronal cells, its signaling pathway and also the role of endogenous Lf in neuronal disorders.
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