Author(s): Jain N, Mathur NB, Sharma VK, Dwarkadas AM
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Abstract The cellular composition of colostrum (within 72 hours post partum) and mature milk samples (5th-7th day post partum) from 20 mothers delivering preterm babies and 20 mothers delivering full term babies was examined. Lymphocyte subsets including T cells, B cells, T4 and T8 cells were quantitated by indirect immunoperoxidase staining using specific monoclonal antibodies. The mean total cell count in preterm colostrum (9,338/mm3) was significantly higher than in full term colostrum (5,594/mm3). Similarly, counts for macrophages, neutrophils and lymphocytes were significantly higher in preterm colostrum and milk as compared to full term colostrum and milk. B and T lymphocytes including T4 and T8 cells were identified in both preterm and full term breast milk. The absolute count of T, B, T4 and T8 cells was significantly higher in preterm colostrum compared to term colostrum, though the relative percentage distribution of lymphocyte subsets showed no significant difference between the two groups. T and B cells constituted about 74\% and 26\% of total lymphocytes, respectively in preterm as well as full term colostrum and about 69\% and 31\% in preterm and full term milk. The mean T4/T8 ratio was higher in preterm colostrum than term colostrum, being 1.82 and 1.60 respectively. However, this difference was not significant statistically and did not change statistically in the milk sample.
This article was published in Acta Paediatr Scand
and referenced in International Journal of Inflammation, Cancer and Integrative Therapy