Background: Growth factors (GFs) are milk bioactive components contributing to the regulation of neonatal small intestinal maturation, and their receptors on the small intestinal epithelium play essential roles in mediating the functions of GFs. There is limited data correlating milk GFs and their receptors in the neonatal small intestine during the perinatal period. Methods: Small intestines of C57BL/6N mouse pups were collected at regular intervals during fetal life and up to postnatal day (PD) 60. Gene expression of GF receptors was determined by real-time qPCR. Milk GF concentrations up to PD21 were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: The majority of GF receptors showed significantly greater expression in the fetus than in postnatal life, and a sharp decrease occurred from PD14 extending to PD60; solid food restriction (PD14 and PD18) did not affect this decrease. Concentrations of five detected milk GFs demonstrated that GFs and the corresponding small intestinal receptors exhibited different correlations, with only milk transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) having a significant positive correlation with TGF-β receptor 1 mRNA. Conclusion: Gene expression of small intestinal GF receptors is likely a process of neonatal intestinal maturation that is affected concurrently by milk GFs and additional endogenous factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health