Dynamics of antimicrobial protein secretion in mouse milk Article (Web of Science)


  • Abstract Breast milk is the preferred food for the newborns and considered as complete ‘edible immune system’. In addition, breast milk is a source of innate and adaptive proteins which not only protects the naïve infant gastrointestinal tract from enteropathogens but also aid in the appropriate initial colonization of gut microbiota. In this study, we analyzed antimicrobial immune proteins in the milk from C57BL/6 dams at several time points, and observed distinctive patterns in the immune protein levels throughout the lactation period. The presence of innate immune proteins serum amyloid A (SAA), CD14, and notably lipocalin-2 (Lcn2) were observed in high quantities with Lcn2 and SAA present at microgram levels suggesting a potential niche for these proteins during neonatal immune development. Moreover, low dose LPS administration to dams significantly increased some of these proteins in the milk. In addition, adaptive immune proteins immunoglobulins (Ig) A and G with IgG were present in milk at higher quantities compared to IgA at day 5 post-delivery. Interestingly, class-switching occurs by day 15 indicating a selective adaptive immune preference towards IgA, which could be due to gut colonization of newborns with more complex gut microbiota with aging and IgA being a major gut homeostatic factor. Additionally, milk from IgA-deficient dams allowed for robust proliferation of E. coli compared to wild-type milk further signifying the potential involvement of IgA during the early colonization of microbes in the neonatal gut. Collectively, our findings provide insight in the various immune proteins with antimicrobial activity may play a major role in the initial microbial colonization in the gut, which has long-lasting consequences on the host. Supported by NIH R01-CA219144, NCI Diversity Supplement (CA219144-05S1)


publication date

  • 2022

published in

start page

  • 51.12

end page

  • 51.12


  • 208


  • 1_Supplement