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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

Scatterplots and boxplots for significantly associated linear and dichotomous characteristics and specific genes.
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f3: Scatterplots and boxplots for significantly associated linear and dichotomous characteristics and specific genes.

Mentions: Higher maternal BMI was associated with lower expression of CK18 (p = 0.029). Higher gestational age at delivery (closer to term birth) was associated with higher α-LA (p = 0.040), higher NESTIN (p = 0.020) and lower SOX2 (p = 0.031) expression (Fig. 3). Early in lactation, ESRRB was more highly expressed (p = 0.005), whereas GDF3 was lower (p < 0.001). Larger changes in bra cup size between pre- and post-pregnancy were associated with lower SOX2 expression (p = 0.036) and higher REX1 (p = 0.047), α-LA (p = 0.022) and EPCAM (p = 0.047) expression (Fig. 3).


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)

Scatterplots and boxplots for significantly associated linear and dichotomous characteristics and specific genes.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f3: Scatterplots and boxplots for significantly associated linear and dichotomous characteristics and specific genes.
Mentions: Higher maternal BMI was associated with lower expression of CK18 (p = 0.029). Higher gestational age at delivery (closer to term birth) was associated with higher α-LA (p = 0.040), higher NESTIN (p = 0.020) and lower SOX2 (p = 0.031) expression (Fig. 3). Early in lactation, ESRRB was more highly expressed (p = 0.005), whereas GDF3 was lower (p < 0.001). Larger changes in bra cup size between pre- and post-pregnancy were associated with lower SOX2 expression (p = 0.036) and higher REX1 (p = 0.047), α-LA (p = 0.022) and EPCAM (p = 0.047) expression (Fig. 3).

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