[Hot science] Neutral HMO concentrations of breastmilk samples of Chinese mothers

Background
Breast-pump
Abstract

In this prospective study, a total of 464 human milk samples were collected from 116 Chinese mothers from Beijing, Xuchang and Suzhou at four different time points. In total, 76.7% mothers were found to be Secretor and Lewis positive phenotype (Se+Le+). Among all neutral human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), Lacto-N-tetraose and Lacto-N-neotetroase (LNT&LNnT) were found to be the most abundant in milk samples from both secretor and non-secretor mothers. Concentration of specific HMOs were also associated with maternal age, allergic history, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), parity, delivery mode, infant gestational age and gender.

3 min read

Link to publication: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146356/pdf/nutrients-12-00826.pdf
 

Method

  • Healthy Chinese mothers were recruited from three cities (Beijing, Xuchang and Suzhou) of China at 1-5 days after delivery
  • Breastmilk samples were collected from all participants at 1-5 days, 8-14 days, 4 weeks (27-33 days) and 6 months (177-183 days) postpartum
  • Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) were extracted and analyzed to identify individual concentrations at different timepoints
  • Secretor status and Lewis phenotypes of participants were determined based on the abundance of 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) and Lacto-N-fucopentaose (LNFP-II)
  • Maternal and infant information was also obtained through a validated questionnaire
     

Key Findings

Among the total of 464 milk samples collected from 116 mothers at all four timepoints:

Secretor status and Lewis phenotypes determined were as follow,

  • Secretor and Lewis positive (Se+ Le+): 76.7% of participants
  • Non-secretor and Lewis positive (Se- Le+): 17.2% of participants
  • Secretor and Lewis negative (Se+ Le-): 4.3% of participants
  • Non-secretor and Lewis negative (Se- Le-): 1.7% of participants

 

A total of 20 individual HMOs and 3 HMO combinations were identified,

  • LNT&LNnT and LNFP-I were the most abundant neutral HMOs from both secretor and non-secretor samples
  • Majority of HMOs decreased throughout lactation, with some exceptions such as 3’-FL showing an increasing trend and reached maximum concentration in 6-month mature milk
     

Individual HMOs were associated with various maternal infant factors,

  • Maternal age was negatively associated with several HMOs including LNT&LNnT and positively associated with 2’-FL and DFLNH-b in secretors
  • Gestational age was negatively associated with IFLNH-I and TFLNH-II in secretors and 3’-FL along with other HMOs in non-secretors
  • Maternal allergy history was associated with lower DFLNH-b and DFpLNH-I in non-secretors
  • Parity was negatively associated with HMOs such as LDFT and LNFP-I in colostrum
  • Infant gender (as girls) was associated with lower concentrations of HMOs such as LNFP-I and LNnH
     

Abbreviations

2’-FL

2’-Fucosyllactose

3’-FL

3’-Fucosyllactose

DFLNH-b

Difucosyllacto-N-hexaose-b

DFpLNH-I

Difucosyl-para-lacto-N-hexaose I

HMO

Human milk oligosaccharide

IFLNH-I

Isomer-fucosyl-lacto-N-hexaose-I

LDFT

Lactodifucotetraose

LNFP-I

Lacto-N-fucopentaose-I

LNFP-II

Lacto-N-fucopentaose-II

LNnH

Lacto-N-neohexaose

LNnT

Lacto-N-neotetraose

LNT

Lacto-N-tetraose

TFLNH-II

Trifucosyllacto-N-hexaose II

 

WYE-EM-043-APR-20

Reference

Wang M et al. Neutral human milk oligosaccharides are associated with multiple fixed and modifiable maternal and infant characteristics. Nutrients. 2020;12:826.
 

Other articles that you might be interested in:

Effects of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) on infant growth and morbidity

Hot topics