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Gene expression in breastmilk cells is associated with maternal and infant characteristics.

Twigger AJ, Hepworth AR, Lai CT, Chetwynd E, Stuebe AM, Blancafort P, Hartmann PE, Geddes DT, Kakulas F - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Genes exerting similar functions, such as either stem cell regulation or milk production, were found to be closely associated.Infant gestational age at delivery and changes in maternal bra cup size between pre-pregnancy and postpartum lactation were associated with expression of genes controlling stemness as well as milk synthesis.Our findings highlight the heterogeneity of breastmilk cell content and its changes associated with characteristics of the breastfeeding dyad that may reflect changing infant needs.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Breastmilk is a rich source of cells with a heterogeneous composition comprising early-stage stem cells, progenitors and more differentiated cells. The gene expression profiles of these cells and their associations with characteristics of the breastfeeding mother and infant are poorly understood. This study investigated factors associated with the cellular dynamics of breastmilk and explored variations amongst women. Genes representing different breastmilk cell populations including mammary epithelial and myoepithelial cells, progenitors, and multi-lineage stem cells showed great variation in expression. Stem cell markers ESRRB and CK5, myoepithelial marker CK14, and lactocyte marker α-lactalbumin were amongst the genes most highly expressed across all samples tested. Genes exerting similar functions, such as either stem cell regulation or milk production, were found to be closely associated. Infant gestational age at delivery and changes in maternal bra cup size between pre-pregnancy and postpartum lactation were associated with expression of genes controlling stemness as well as milk synthesis. Additional correlations were found between genes and dyad characteristics, which may explain abnormalities related to low breastmilk supply or preterm birth. Our findings highlight the heterogeneity of breastmilk cell content and its changes associated with characteristics of the breastfeeding dyad that may reflect changing infant needs.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(a) Distributions of gene expression (RQ) amongst breastmilk cells (•) and reference cell line values [fibroblasts (♦), human embryonic stem cells (hESCs, Δ), OCT4 transfected breast cells (OTBCs, •) and human mammary epithelial cells (HUMECs, ■)]. Box plots represent breastmilk cell distributions where tails show the minimum and maximum values (excluding outliers) and upper and lower interquartile ranges; middle line represents the median. (b) Stained lactating breast tissue sections for OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, CD49f, CK5, NESTIN, EPCAM, α-LA, ESRRB, KLF4 and REX1.
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f1: (a) Distributions of gene expression (RQ) amongst breastmilk cells (•) and reference cell line values [fibroblasts (♦), human embryonic stem cells (hESCs, Δ), OCT4 transfected breast cells (OTBCs, •) and human mammary epithelial cells (HUMECs, ■)]. Box plots represent breastmilk cell distributions where tails show the minimum and maximum values (excluding outliers) and upper and lower interquartile ranges; middle line represents the median. (b) Stained lactating breast tissue sections for OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, CD49f, CK5, NESTIN, EPCAM, α-LA, ESRRB, KLF4 and REX1.

Mentions: Gene expression was tested both at the mRNA (qRT-PCR, Fig. 1a) and the protein levels (immunostaining of human lactating mammary tissues, Fig. 1b, Supplementary Figure 1). Breastmilk cell gene expression varied widely amongst participants (Fig. 1a, Table 2) where up to 105 fold ranges were found within single genes. The genes ESRRB, CK5, CK14 and α-LA showed the highest relative expression, whilst REX1, NOGGIN and PTEN had the lowest expression (Table 2). Normal distributions were found for ESRRB, KLF4, CK5, CD49f, PAX6, NESTIN, NOGGIN, PTEN and CK18. Normality of gene expression distribution was indeterminate of α-LA (p = 0.052).


Gene expression in breastmilk cells is associated with maternal and infant characteristics.

Twigger AJ, Hepworth AR, Lai CT, Chetwynd E, Stuebe AM, Blancafort P, Hartmann PE, Geddes DT, Kakulas F - Sci Rep (2015)

(a) Distributions of gene expression (RQ) amongst breastmilk cells (•) and reference cell line values [fibroblasts (♦), human embryonic stem cells (hESCs, Δ), OCT4 transfected breast cells (OTBCs, •) and human mammary epithelial cells (HUMECs, ■)]. Box plots represent breastmilk cell distributions where tails show the minimum and maximum values (excluding outliers) and upper and lower interquartile ranges; middle line represents the median. (b) Stained lactating breast tissue sections for OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, CD49f, CK5, NESTIN, EPCAM, α-LA, ESRRB, KLF4 and REX1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4542700&req=5

f1: (a) Distributions of gene expression (RQ) amongst breastmilk cells (•) and reference cell line values [fibroblasts (♦), human embryonic stem cells (hESCs, Δ), OCT4 transfected breast cells (OTBCs, •) and human mammary epithelial cells (HUMECs, ■)]. Box plots represent breastmilk cell distributions where tails show the minimum and maximum values (excluding outliers) and upper and lower interquartile ranges; middle line represents the median. (b) Stained lactating breast tissue sections for OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, CD49f, CK5, NESTIN, EPCAM, α-LA, ESRRB, KLF4 and REX1.
Mentions: Gene expression was tested both at the mRNA (qRT-PCR, Fig. 1a) and the protein levels (immunostaining of human lactating mammary tissues, Fig. 1b, Supplementary Figure 1). Breastmilk cell gene expression varied widely amongst participants (Fig. 1a, Table 2) where up to 105 fold ranges were found within single genes. The genes ESRRB, CK5, CK14 and α-LA showed the highest relative expression, whilst REX1, NOGGIN and PTEN had the lowest expression (Table 2). Normal distributions were found for ESRRB, KLF4, CK5, CD49f, PAX6, NESTIN, NOGGIN, PTEN and CK18. Normality of gene expression distribution was indeterminate of α-LA (p = 0.052).

Bottom Line: Genes exerting similar functions, such as either stem cell regulation or milk production, were found to be closely associated.Infant gestational age at delivery and changes in maternal bra cup size between pre-pregnancy and postpartum lactation were associated with expression of genes controlling stemness as well as milk synthesis.Our findings highlight the heterogeneity of breastmilk cell content and its changes associated with characteristics of the breastfeeding dyad that may reflect changing infant needs.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Breastmilk is a rich source of cells with a heterogeneous composition comprising early-stage stem cells, progenitors and more differentiated cells. The gene expression profiles of these cells and their associations with characteristics of the breastfeeding mother and infant are poorly understood. This study investigated factors associated with the cellular dynamics of breastmilk and explored variations amongst women. Genes representing different breastmilk cell populations including mammary epithelial and myoepithelial cells, progenitors, and multi-lineage stem cells showed great variation in expression. Stem cell markers ESRRB and CK5, myoepithelial marker CK14, and lactocyte marker α-lactalbumin were amongst the genes most highly expressed across all samples tested. Genes exerting similar functions, such as either stem cell regulation or milk production, were found to be closely associated. Infant gestational age at delivery and changes in maternal bra cup size between pre-pregnancy and postpartum lactation were associated with expression of genes controlling stemness as well as milk synthesis. Additional correlations were found between genes and dyad characteristics, which may explain abnormalities related to low breastmilk supply or preterm birth. Our findings highlight the heterogeneity of breastmilk cell content and its changes associated with characteristics of the breastfeeding dyad that may reflect changing infant needs.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus