Effect of maternal age on breast milk TGF-β1 level
Background: Human milk is rich in protective proteins which play a part in the prevention of microbial infection in suckling infants. Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) is considered a key immunoregulatory factor in promoting IgA production and induction of oral tolerance. During the early postnatal period,when endogenous TGF-β production in the intestine is sparse,maternal milk constitutes an important exogenous source. So,this study aimed to determine the effects of maternal age on breast milk TGF-β1 levels in lactating mothers. Methods:In this study,80 lactating mothers who exclusively breastfed their infants for 90 days were recruited from health centers. Mothers were divided into two age groups: ≥30 and < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The mean TGF-β1 concentration of the breast milk in all subjects was 11.7± 1.2 pg/ml. The breast milk TGF-β1 level was 11.7 ± 1.2 pg/ml and 11.8 ± 1.3 pg/ml in the age group of ≥30 and <30 years respectively. After adjusting for maternal BMI,no significant difference was observed in breast milk TGF-β1 levels between the two studied groups (P= 0.6). Conclusion: There is a little information regarding the relationship of maternal age and breast milk immune composition. In this study,maternal age had no effect on breast milk TGF-β1 content. This study was a pilot study so further large scale studies with more sample size are needed to clarify underlying mechanisms.