Anti-Infectious Properties of the Human Milk Fat Globule Membrane
Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), the predominant antibody fraction of human milk, represents a major protective factor against neonatal infection. Until now, sIgA had been identified only in the humoral fraction of human milk For bovine milk an association between sIgA and the milk fat globule (MFG) membranes has been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to assess whether sIgA is associated with the MFG membranes in human milk. Using anti-sIgA-agglutinated human MFG and immune fluorescence microscopy, we demonstrated that sIgA is, in fact, associated with human MFG. Subsequently, by electrophoretic separation of human MFG membranes and Western blotting, we demonstrated specific sIgA bands, suggesting that sIgA is truly an integral part of the human MFG membrane. This may be of physiological relevance, as undigested and functional human MFG are found in the stools of the newborn.
KeywordsHuman Milk Bovine Milk Secretory Immunoglobulin Integrin Binding Protein Major Protective Factor
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