Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Humoral immune response induced by the protein core of MUC1 mucin in pregnant and healthy women*

  • María V. Croce
  • Marina T. Isla-Larrain
  • Adriana Capafons
  • Mike R. Price
  • Amada Segal-Eiras


Serum levels of MUC1 and antibodies (Abs) against MUC1 (IgG and IgM-MUC1) were evaluated in healthy women related to pregnancy and lactation status. A total of 149 serum samples were obtained from: nulliparous, primiparous pregnant, multiparous pregnant that have lactated, multiparous pregnant without lactation, multiparous non-pregnant actual lactating, multiparous non-pregnant that have lactated and finally, multiparous non-pregnant women without lactation. In all assays, we included pre- and post-serum samples belonging to a breast cancer patient vaccinated with a MUC1 derived peptide. CASA test was employed to measure MUC1 while IgG- and IgM-MUC1 serum Abs were evaluated with an ELISA using a 100 mer peptide as catcher. In all groups, mean IgM levels were higher than IgG mean values; when samples were grouped in pregnants versus non-pregnants, a significant difference was detected with both Abs, being raised in non-pregnants. When samples were grouped in lactating versus non-lactating a significant difference was detected with IgG-MUC1, being raised in lactating women while no significant difference was found with IgM-MUC1. The evaluation of serum MUC1 levels confirmed previous results since a significant difference between pregnant versus non-pregnant groups was found while lactating versus non-lactating samples did not. Conclusions: (i) Increased MUC1 serum levels are apparently associated with pregnancy but not with lactation; (ii) MUC1 Abs are mainly associated with lactation and with non-pregnant status. These results may be considered a contribution on studies about protection against breast cancer induced by pregnancy and lactation.

anti-MUC1 antibodies lactation MUC1-mucin pregnancy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • María V. Croce
    • 1
  • Marina T. Isla-Larrain
    • 2
  • Adriana Capafons
    • 2
  • Mike R. Price
    • 3
  • Amada Segal-Eiras
    • 4
  1. 1.Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (CICPBA)Argentina
  2. 2.Centro de Investigaciones Inmunológicas Básicas y Aplicadas (CINIBA), Facultad de Ciencias MédicasUNLPArgentina
  3. 3.The Cancer Research LaboratorySchool of Pharmaceutical SciencesNottingham, UK
  4. 4.Research Worker Career of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasArgentina

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