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eSymposia | Optimizing Nutrition for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health


The need of colostrum for healthy growth and gut immunity development


Oct 21, 2020 12:00am ‐ Oct 21, 2020 12:00am

Description

The need of colostrum for healthy growth and gut immunity development Background. Among mothers that initiate breastfeeding, at least one on three will not optimally breastfeed during the first days. They will either initiate breastfeeding more than one hour after delivery and/ or will provide supplement feeding. In addition to expose the child to potential pathogens and /or allergens, this will result in colostrum withdrawal for the neonate. Colostrum, the first fluid produced by the mammary gland, is rich in protein, immune and growth factors. It also has the potential to shape the establishing gut microbiota by its abundance in oligosaccharides and antimicrobial factors. To date, there is a lack of knowledge on the long-term health impacts of insufficient colostrum intake. Objective. To determine whether colostrum is required for healthy growth and gut immunity development. Methods. We have developed a unique pre-clinical model where we compare the development of mice breastfed physiologically (Control, ctrl group) with mice breastfed by a dam that delivered 8 days earlier and thus did not provide colostrum but only mature milk (Col minus group). Results. Col minus mice demonstrated profound growth delay as compared to Ctrl mice. At weaning time, in vivo quantification of white adipose tissue demonstrated that the visceral fat was the most affected by the lack of colostrum intake. In addition, we observed abnormal development of immunity both in the visceral fat (reduced representation of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells and type 2 innate lymphoid cells, ILC2) and in the gut of mice deprived of colostrum (reduced ILC2). This was accompanied by increased gut permeability and susceptibility to helminth infection. Conclusions. Our data reveal that colostrum is critical for physiological growth and the development of adipose tissue including its immune regulation. We further found that colostrum is required for development of gut immunity and successful helminth immune defences. Ultimately, this work should provide the scientific rationale to promote the optimization of early breastfeeding practice and to design colostrum-inspired supplements to support healthy development. Akila Rekima*1, Lieke van den Elsen*1, Charlotte Isnard2, Alana Middleton1, Rick Maizels3, Danielle Smyth3, Valerie Verhasselt1 1School of Molecular Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Australia; 2University of Nice, France; 3University of Glasgow, The United Kingdom *Co-first author

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