Wound Healing Properties of Commercial Milk Hydrolysates in Intestinal Cells

  • Stig Purup
  • Søren D. Nielsen
  • Thao T. Le
  • Hans Bertelsen
  • John Sørensen
  • Lotte B. Larsen


Eight commercial milk protein preparations of whey protein or casein enzymatic hydrolysates were investigated for migration and proliferation activities in a cell model for wound healing using rat intestinal epithelial cells of normal origin. Two casein-based preparations were very potent stimulators of migration, showing an increase of approximately 50% in concentrations below 1 µg/mL of solubilized milk powder. One of these preparations also stimulated cell proliferation in low concentrations, while the highest level of proliferation was obtained by a third casein-based hydrolysate showing a nearly 50% increase at 1 mg/mL. These results suggest that hydrolysis of casein may be important to obtain functional bioactives in intestinal cell recovery from damage or injury. As migration and proliferation are distinct mechanisms of importance for the integrity of the epithelial surface, both at normal conditions and especially after intestinal injury, these milk protein preparations could be used in functional foods for gut protection and recovery after injury.


Wound healing Peptide Proliferation Migration Bioactivity Intestinal epithelial cells 



The authors thank Anette K. Nielsen, Kasper B. Poulsen, Hanne S. Møller and Stina G. Handberg for their skilled technical assistance. This research was supported by the Danish Council for Strategic Research (Project No. 3304-FSE-06-0508-02) and the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Participants

This article does not contain studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stig Purup
    • 1
  • Søren D. Nielsen
    • 2
  • Thao T. Le
    • 2
  • Hans Bertelsen
    • 3
  • John Sørensen
    • 4
  • Lotte B. Larsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceAarhus UniversityTjeleDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Food ScienceAarhus UniversityTjeleDenmark
  3. 3.Arla Foods IngredientsViby JDenmark
  4. 4.Arla Foods AmbaBrabrandDenmark

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