Cytotechnology

, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp 385–393 | Cite as

Exploring the stem cell and non-stem cell constituents of human breast milk

  • S. Indumathi
  • M. Dhanasekaran
  • J. S. Rajkumar
  • D. Sudarsanam
Original Research

Abstract

The immense potency of nutritional components of human breast milk and importance of breastfeeding is known worldwide. Recent researches had identified stem cells as integral component of human breast milk. Nevertheless, there is little proof of evidence on the stem cell constituents of breast milk. It is imperative to explore the cellular constituents of human breast milk, including of stem cells, to open new avenue in child’s development and regeneration. Thus, we aimed at identifying the cellular constituents of human breast milk by phenotypic characterisation of diverse cell surface markers of hematopoietic stem cells (CD 34, CD 133, CD 117), mesenchymal stem cells (CD 90, CD 105, CD 73), myoepithelial cells (CD 29, CD 44), Immune cells (CD 209, CD 86, CD 83, CD 14, CD 13, HLADR, CD 45), as well as cell adhesion molecules (CD 31, CD 54, CD 166, CD 106, CD 49d), and other markers (ABCG2, CD140b) using flowcytometry. We found a lower expression of CD 34 (13.07 ± 2.0 %), CD 90 (7.79 ± 0.8 %) and CD 73 (2.19 ± 0.41 %), indicating scanty hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cell population in human breast milk. On contrary, myoepithelial progenitors, cell adhesion molecules, immune cells and growth factors were identified as the major constituents of breast milk. Overall, this study illuminates the benefits of breast feeding as breast milk encompasses heterogeneous cellular components that benefits child’s growth, immunity and development. However, further research on these constituents of human breast milk will widen their applicability in treatment of neonatal disorders.

Keywords

Breast milk Mesenchymal stem cells Hematopoietic stem cells Immune cells Cell adhesion Molecules Breast feeding 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Indumathi
    • 1
  • M. Dhanasekaran
    • 2
  • J. S. Rajkumar
    • 2
  • D. Sudarsanam
    • 1
  1. 1.Loyola CollegeChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Lifeline Multispeciality HospitalChennaiIndia

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