Potential of breastmilk in stem cell research

  • Seema TripathyEmail author
  • Shikha Singh
  • Saroj Kumar Das
Full Length Review


Breastmilk is a dynamic, multi-faceted, and complex fluid containing a plethora of biochemical and cellular components that execute developmental effects or differentiation program, providing nourishment and immunity to newborns. Recently, it was reported that breastmilk contains a heterogeneous population of naïve cells, including pluripotent stem cells, multipotent stem cells, immune cells, and non-immune cells. The stem cells derived from breastmilk possess immune privilege and non-tumorigenic properties. Thus, breastmilk may represent an ideal source of stem cells collected by non-perceive procedure than other available sources. Thus, this “maternally originating natural regenerative medicine” may have innumerable applications in clinical biology, cosmetics, and pharmacokinetics. This review describes the efficient integrated cellular system of mammary glands, the impressive stem cell hierarchy of breastmilk, and their possible implications in translational research and therapeutics.


Breastmilk Stem cells Hierarchy Immune privilege Translational research 



The authors are thankful to the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for providing financial support vide reference number SR/WOS-A/LS-13/2016 dated 06.09.2016 under the Women Scientist Scheme to carry out this work. They are grateful to Ms. Swati Singh, Ms. Karisma Agrawal, and Ms. Aishwarya Nayak for critical reading and editing of the manuscript. Thanks are due to Dr. Gulam Hussain Syed (Scientist-D, Institute of Life Science, Bhubaneswar) and Dr. Rajkumar Joshi (Associate Professor, Ramadevi Women’s University, Bhubaneswar) for their valuable suggestions to improve the quality of the manuscript. The authors are indebted to the Head of the Department, Centre for Biotechnology, Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University, Kalinga Nagar, Ghatikia, Bhubaneswar-751 003, India, for providing the necessary facilities. The authors also acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Ritendra Mishra, Mumbai, India who helped in the copy editing and proofreading of the manuscript.


This study was funded by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for providing financial support under vide reference number SR/WOS-A/LS-13/2016 dated 06.09.2016 under Women Scientist Scheme.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have any conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seema Tripathy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shikha Singh
    • 1
  • Saroj Kumar Das
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for BiotechnologySiksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (Deemed to be University)BhubaneswarIndia

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