α 1-antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin in human milk: Origin, concentrations, and stability

Winyoo Chowanadisai, Bo Lönnerdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The protease inhibitors α 1-antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin are present in human milk, but little is known about their roles in protein digestion during infancy. It has been hypothesized that α 1-antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin may modulate digestion in the infant gut. Objective: We determined whether the mammary gland expresses α 1-antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin, measured α 1-antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin throughout lactation, assessed the resistance of α 1-antitrypsin to proteolysis, and determined the potential of α 1-antitrypsin to affect the survival of other milk proteins. Design: A pool of complementary DNA from the human mammary gland was analyzed with polymerase chain reaction to detect genes for α 1-antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin. α 1-Antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin concentrations were measured in milk samples obtained longitudinally (days 4-47) from 8 women. An in vitro model of infant digestion was used to assess the digestive stability of α 1-antitrypsin against pepsin and pancreatin. Lactoferrin, with α 1-antitrypsin present, was digested by pancreatin, and the digested proteins were separated. Results: α 1-Antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin concentrations were high in early milk and decreased throughout lactation. Polymerase chain reaction products were detected for both genes. After in vitro digestion, much of the α 1-antitrypsin was still intact, whereas many other milk proteins were digested. Much of the lactoferrin was still intact after digestion, but only when α 1-antitrypsin was added. Conclusions: The results suggest that α 1-antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin are produced by the mammary gland and are present in milk in relatively high amounts in early lactation. α 1-Antitrypsin may survive digestion and may affect the survival of other proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)828-833
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume76
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002

Fingerprint

Human Milk
breast milk
Digestion
digestion
Human Mammary Glands
Lactation
Pancreatin
mammary glands
pancreatin
Milk
Lactoferrin
lactoferrin
Milk Proteins
milk proteins
milk
Proteolysis
lactation
polymerase chain reaction
Polymerase Chain Reaction
complementary DNA

Keywords

  • α -Antitrypsin
  • Antichymotrypsin
  • Breast milk
  • Breast-feeding
  • Human milk
  • Infant digestion
  • Mammary gland
  • Milk proteins
  • Protease inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

α 1-antitrypsin and antichymotrypsin in human milk : Origin, concentrations, and stability. / Chowanadisai, Winyoo; Lönnerdal, Bo.

In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 76, No. 4, 10.2002, p. 828-833.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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