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Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk.

Hassiotou F, Hepworth AR, Metzger P, Tat Lai C, Trengove N, Hartmann PE, Filgueira L - Clin Transl Immunology (2013)

Bottom Line: Within the first 1-2 weeks postpartum, leukocyte numbers decreased significantly to a low baseline level in mature breastmilk (0-2%) (P<0.001).Collectively, our results suggest a strong association between the health status of the mother/infant dyad and breastmilk leukocyte levels.This could be used as a diagnostic tool for assessment of the health status of the lactating breast as well as the breastfeeding mother and infant.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Western Australia , Crawley, Western Australia, Australia ; School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia , Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Breastmilk protects infants against infections; however, specific responses of breastmilk immune factors to different infections of either the mother or the infant are not well understood. Here, we examined the baseline range of breastmilk leukocytes and immunomodulatory biomolecules in healthy mother/infant dyads and how they are influenced by infections of the dyad. Consistent with a greater immunological need in the early postpartum period, colostrum contained considerable numbers of leukocytes (13-70% out of total cells) and high levels of immunoglobulins and lactoferrin. Within the first 1-2 weeks postpartum, leukocyte numbers decreased significantly to a low baseline level in mature breastmilk (0-2%) (P<0.001). This baseline level was maintained throughout lactation unless the mother and/or her infant became infected, when leukocyte numbers significantly increased up to 94% leukocytes out of total cells (P<0.001). Upon recovery from the infection, baseline values were restored. The strong leukocyte response to infection was accompanied by a more variable humoral immune response. Exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a greater baseline level of leukocytes in mature breastmilk. Collectively, our results suggest a strong association between the health status of the mother/infant dyad and breastmilk leukocyte levels. This could be used as a diagnostic tool for assessment of the health status of the lactating breast as well as the breastfeeding mother and infant.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mastitis-specific breastmilk leukocyte subpopulations and properties. (a) Breastmilk collected from women with mastitis contained distinct leukocyte subpopulations, including monocytes, macrophages, T helper cells, cytotoxic T cells, NK (natural killer) cells and B cells. These cells responded to viral antigen and PHA stimulation in vitro via increased proliferation (b) and production of cytokines (c). *P<0.05, **P<0.01.
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fig2: Mastitis-specific breastmilk leukocyte subpopulations and properties. (a) Breastmilk collected from women with mastitis contained distinct leukocyte subpopulations, including monocytes, macrophages, T helper cells, cytotoxic T cells, NK (natural killer) cells and B cells. These cells responded to viral antigen and PHA stimulation in vitro via increased proliferation (b) and production of cytokines (c). *P<0.05, **P<0.01.

Mentions: Infections of the breast, other organs or general maternal infections all stimulated a leukocyte response in breastmilk that ranged from 0.7% (sore breast) to 93.6% (mastitis) leukocytes of total milk cells (P<0.001) (Figures 1b–d; Tables 1 and 2). Severe breast infections, such as mastitis, stimulated a greater leukocyte response (P<0.001). The effect of systemic and other organ infections on breastmilk leukocyte content was in agreement with the observed effect of mastitis of one breast on the breastmilk leukocyte content of the other (mastitis-free) breast (Figure 1b). A small increase in breastmilk leukocyte content was also observed when only the infant had an infection, while the mother was asymptomatic (P=0.046) (Figure 1b). No difference was seen between pre- and post-infection baseline leukocyte levels (P=0.48) (Figure 1b; Supplementary Figure S1c). Importantly, the leukocyte response to infection and recovery, as well as transition from colostrum to transitional milk, was rapid (Figures 1a and b). In contrast to leukocytes, milk total cell and viable cell contents did not significantly vary by health status or milk type (Figure 1c; Table 2). However, total cell content significantly increased (P=0.002) with lactation stage (Figure 1d; Table 1). The latter did not significantly influence % cell viability (P=0.09) (Figure 1d; Table 1). Milk leukocyte content did not significantly change after week 1 postpartum as long as the dyad was healthy (P=0.36) (Figure 1d). Leukocytes in breastmilk from women with mastitis contained monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, T-helper cells, cytotoxic T cells, natural killer cells and a small population of B lymphocytes (Figure 2a). Infection-stimulated leukocytes contained activated cell subsets that responded to viral antigens and PHA in culture with increased proliferation rate and altered expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17A, interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α (Figures 2b and c).


Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk.

Hassiotou F, Hepworth AR, Metzger P, Tat Lai C, Trengove N, Hartmann PE, Filgueira L - Clin Transl Immunology (2013)

Mastitis-specific breastmilk leukocyte subpopulations and properties. (a) Breastmilk collected from women with mastitis contained distinct leukocyte subpopulations, including monocytes, macrophages, T helper cells, cytotoxic T cells, NK (natural killer) cells and B cells. These cells responded to viral antigen and PHA stimulation in vitro via increased proliferation (b) and production of cytokines (c). *P<0.05, **P<0.01.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4232055&req=5

fig2: Mastitis-specific breastmilk leukocyte subpopulations and properties. (a) Breastmilk collected from women with mastitis contained distinct leukocyte subpopulations, including monocytes, macrophages, T helper cells, cytotoxic T cells, NK (natural killer) cells and B cells. These cells responded to viral antigen and PHA stimulation in vitro via increased proliferation (b) and production of cytokines (c). *P<0.05, **P<0.01.
Mentions: Infections of the breast, other organs or general maternal infections all stimulated a leukocyte response in breastmilk that ranged from 0.7% (sore breast) to 93.6% (mastitis) leukocytes of total milk cells (P<0.001) (Figures 1b–d; Tables 1 and 2). Severe breast infections, such as mastitis, stimulated a greater leukocyte response (P<0.001). The effect of systemic and other organ infections on breastmilk leukocyte content was in agreement with the observed effect of mastitis of one breast on the breastmilk leukocyte content of the other (mastitis-free) breast (Figure 1b). A small increase in breastmilk leukocyte content was also observed when only the infant had an infection, while the mother was asymptomatic (P=0.046) (Figure 1b). No difference was seen between pre- and post-infection baseline leukocyte levels (P=0.48) (Figure 1b; Supplementary Figure S1c). Importantly, the leukocyte response to infection and recovery, as well as transition from colostrum to transitional milk, was rapid (Figures 1a and b). In contrast to leukocytes, milk total cell and viable cell contents did not significantly vary by health status or milk type (Figure 1c; Table 2). However, total cell content significantly increased (P=0.002) with lactation stage (Figure 1d; Table 1). The latter did not significantly influence % cell viability (P=0.09) (Figure 1d; Table 1). Milk leukocyte content did not significantly change after week 1 postpartum as long as the dyad was healthy (P=0.36) (Figure 1d). Leukocytes in breastmilk from women with mastitis contained monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, T-helper cells, cytotoxic T cells, natural killer cells and a small population of B lymphocytes (Figure 2a). Infection-stimulated leukocytes contained activated cell subsets that responded to viral antigens and PHA in culture with increased proliferation rate and altered expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17A, interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α (Figures 2b and c).

Bottom Line: Within the first 1-2 weeks postpartum, leukocyte numbers decreased significantly to a low baseline level in mature breastmilk (0-2%) (P<0.001).Collectively, our results suggest a strong association between the health status of the mother/infant dyad and breastmilk leukocyte levels.This could be used as a diagnostic tool for assessment of the health status of the lactating breast as well as the breastfeeding mother and infant.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Western Australia , Crawley, Western Australia, Australia ; School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia , Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Breastmilk protects infants against infections; however, specific responses of breastmilk immune factors to different infections of either the mother or the infant are not well understood. Here, we examined the baseline range of breastmilk leukocytes and immunomodulatory biomolecules in healthy mother/infant dyads and how they are influenced by infections of the dyad. Consistent with a greater immunological need in the early postpartum period, colostrum contained considerable numbers of leukocytes (13-70% out of total cells) and high levels of immunoglobulins and lactoferrin. Within the first 1-2 weeks postpartum, leukocyte numbers decreased significantly to a low baseline level in mature breastmilk (0-2%) (P<0.001). This baseline level was maintained throughout lactation unless the mother and/or her infant became infected, when leukocyte numbers significantly increased up to 94% leukocytes out of total cells (P<0.001). Upon recovery from the infection, baseline values were restored. The strong leukocyte response to infection was accompanied by a more variable humoral immune response. Exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a greater baseline level of leukocytes in mature breastmilk. Collectively, our results suggest a strong association between the health status of the mother/infant dyad and breastmilk leukocyte levels. This could be used as a diagnostic tool for assessment of the health status of the lactating breast as well as the breastfeeding mother and infant.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus