Protein & Cell

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 197–210

Immune modulatory function of abundant immune-related microRNAs in microvesicles from bovine colostrum

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s13238-013-2119-9

Cite this article as:
Sun, Q., Chen, X., Yu, J. et al. Protein Cell (2013) 4: 197. doi:10.1007/s13238-013-2119-9


Colostrum provides essential nutrients and immunologically active factors that are beneficial to newborns. Our previous work demonstrated that milk contains large amounts of miRNA that is largely stored in milk-derived microvesicles (MVs). In the present study, we found that the MVs from colostrum contain significantly higher levels of several immune-related miRNAs. We hypothesized that the colostrum MVs may transfer the immune-related miRNAs into cells, which contribute to its immune modulatory feature. We isolated colostrum MVs by ultracentrifugation and demonstrated several immune modulation features associated with miRNAs. We also provide evidence that the physical structure of milk-derived MVs is essential for transfer miRNAs and following immune modulation effect. Moreover, we found that colostrum powder-derived MVs also contains higher levels of immune-related miRNAs that display similar immune modulation effects. Taken together, these results show that MV-containing immunerelated miRNAs may be a novel mechanism by which colostrum modulates body immune response.


colostrummiRNAsmicrovesiclesimmune modulation

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Engineering Research Center for microRNA Biology and Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical BiotechnologyNanjing University School of Life SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of VirologyUniversity of California School of Public HealthBerkeleyUSA