Variations in bovine milk oligosaccharides during early and middle lactation stages analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-chip/mass spectrometry

N. Tao, E. J. DePeters, J. B. German, R. Grimm, Carlito B Lebrilla

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112 Scopus citations


Milk oligosaccharides (OS) are not only a source of nutrition for newborns, but also provide numerous important biological functions including the prevention of pathogen binding to the intestinal epithelium and serving as nutritive sources for beneficial bacteria. High-performance mass spectrometry and separation methods were used to evaluate changes of bovine milk oligosaccharides (bMO) in different lactation stages. Previously, 40 bMO were identified in bovine milk with many consisting of short oligomeric chains that were less complex than human milk oligosaccharides (hMO). The bMO are also significantly more anionic than hMO, with nearly 70% in measured abundances containing either N-acetylneuraminic acid or N-glycolylneuraminic acid, and no fucosylated OS. In this study, we examined factors that could affect the abundances of bMO including stage of lactation and breed. The total concentrations dropped rapidly in the first several days of lactation. Moreover, the anionic oligosaccharides (including N-glycolylneuraminic acid) decreased more rapidly compared with the neutral oligosaccharides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2991-3001
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009



  • Bovine milk
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Oligosaccharide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science
  • Genetics

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