Difference in the Breast Milk Proteome between Allergic and Non-Allergic Mothers

K.A. Hettinga, F.M. Reina, J.A. Boeren, L. Zhang, G.H. Koppelman, D.S. Postma, J.J.M. Vervoort, A.H. Wijga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Breastfeeding has been linked to a reduction in the prevalence of allergy and asthma. However, studies on this relationship vary in outcome, which may partly be related to differences in breast milk composition. In particular breast milk composition may differ between allergic and non-allergic mothers. Important components that may be involved are breast milk proteins, as these are known to regulate immune development in the newborn. The objective of this study was therefore to explore differences in the proteins of breast milk from 20 allergic and non-allergic mothers. The results from this comparison may then be used to generate hypotheses on proteins associated with allergy in their offspring. Methods Milk samples from allergic and non-allergic mothers were obtained from the PIAMA project, a prospective birth cohort study on incidence, risk factors, and prevention of asthma and inhalant allergy. Non-targeted proteomics technology, based on liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, was used to compare breast milk from allergic and non-allergic mothers. Results Nineteen proteins, out of a total of 364 proteins identified in both groups, differed significantly in concentration between the breast milk of allergic and non-allergic mothers. Protease inhibitors and apolipoproteins were present in much higher concentrations in breast milk of allergic than non-allergic mothers. These proteins have been suggested to be linked to allergy and asthma. Conclusions The non-targeted milk proteomic analysis employed has provided new targets for future studies on the relation between breast milk composition and allergy.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0122234
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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