2003 Volume 65 Issue 5 Pages 567-572
The absorption and the transportation of intestinally administrated bovine lactoferrin (LF) were immunohistochemically and physiochemically investigated in the small intestine of growing pigs. At the apical halves of the small intestinal villi, bovine LF was absorbed by transcytosis as small vesicles through villous columnar epithelial cells. The presence of bovine LF-positive membranes of transcytotic vesicles suggests that the absorption was mediated by LF-binding factors on the epithelial cell membranes. Almost all of the absorbed bovine LF was demonstrated to be transported via the lymphatics and the portal vein into the systemic circulation. The LF-concentration in systemic circulation was significantly higher at 1 hr following intestinal administration of bovine LF. Bovine LF-positive lymphocytes also were transferred into the systemic circulation from intestine via the lymphatics and the portal vein.