The concentrations of immunoreactive IL-10 in the aqueous fraction of 20 specimens of human milk obtained during the first 80 h of lactation and stored at 60°C ranged from 66 to 9301 pg/mL (mean ± SD, 3304 ± 3127 pg/mL). IL-10 was present also in the lipid layer of milk. Gel filtration revealed that IL-10 was located in a high molecular weight fraction, where certain other cytokines in human milk have been found. In addition, immunoreactive IL-10 in milk increased after treatment with sodium taurocholate. Bioactive IL-10 was demonstrated by the finding that human milk inhibited [3H]thymidine uptake by human blood lymphocytes and that inhibition was partly overcome by concomitant incubation with antibodies to human IL-10. IL-10 mRNA but no protein product was found in cultured human mammary epithelial cells. Some IL-10 was associated with preparations of human milk leukocytes, but the data did not suggest that the cells were producing the cytokine. Bioactive IL-10 in a possible protected compartment suggests that IL-10 in human milk may have immunomodulating, antiinflammatory effects on the alimentary tract of the recipient infant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health