Lactoferrin inhibits hepatitis B virus infection in cultured human hepatocytes

Koji Hara, Masanori Ikeda, Satoru Saito, Shuhei Matsumoto, Kazushi Numata, Nobuyuki Kato, Katsuaki Tanaka, Hisahiko Sekihara

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98 Citations (Scopus)


We recently reported that lactoferrin (LF), a milk protein belonging to the iron transporter family, inhibits hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in cultured human hepatocytes (PH5CH8) and that the interaction of LF with HCV is responsible for this inhibitory effect. As PH5CH8 cells were found to be a human hepatocyte line susceptible to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, we therefore examined if LF could effectively prevent HBV infection in PH5CH8 cells. Preincubation of the cell with bovine LF (bLF) or human LF (hLF) was required to prevent HBV infection of cells, and preincubation of HBV with bLF or hLF had no inhibitory effect on HBV infection. We further found that bovine transferrin, casein, and lactoalbumin had no anti-HBV activity. Our findings suggest that the interaction of LF with cells was important for its inhibitory effect, and that LF may well be among the candidates for an anti-HBV reagent that could prove effective in the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalHepatology Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002


  • Anti-viral effect
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatocytes
  • Infection
  • Lactoferrin
  • Nested PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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