Skip main navigation

Concentration of IgA in Milk during Lactation

video
15.7
So we next want to know how much amount of milk proteins, especially how much amount of maternal IgA antibodies are detected in milk? So again, just after parturition, the number of IgA producing plasma cells is almost undetectable. And one week after parturition, a little bit, we detected. Then two weeks after parturition, you see a very high number of IgA producing plasma cells in the mammary gland. So if they produce actually IgA antibodies, you should be able to detect IgA antibodies in milk. We did an experiment named ELISA Analysis to examine the concentration of IgA antibodies.
64.1
And also we checked IgG antibodies and IgM antibodies, using milk proteins obtained from the zero weeks just after parturition, one week after parturition, and two weeks after parturition. As you can see here, the concentration of IgA in milk obtained two weeks after parturition is very high compared with one week, after parturition or just after parturition. And you don’t detect a very high amount of IgG or IgM throughout the product or throughout the lactation cycle. So meaning that IgA is important, and the IgA is highly produced in milk proteins two weeks after parturition in mice.
112.9
So we next wanted to know what kind of signaling is essential for the recruitment of IgA producing plasma cells in the mammary gland tissues. So we designed a very simple experiment. In this experiment, we prepared two groups. One is the normal lactation group, and the other is the forced weaning group. So normal lactation group means, we have a baby together with mom. And we maintain both for two weeks then analyze the mammary gland tissues two weeks after parturition. And the forced weaning group is we get baby from the mother then we maintained together for just one week.
159.9
And then we removed only baby, and then just mom is maintained for additional one week So two weeks after parturition, we compared the mammary gland tissues. This is the experimental procedure. So this is a histological image of the mammary gland tissues. You can see dramatic changes in the mammary gland structures. So again, as you learn already, two weeks after parturition, you can see it developed mammary gland alveoli which is a place for producing milk protein. But in the forced weaning group, you don’t see clear structures meaning that the maintenance of the mammary gland structures, that with a baby is essential. If the mom lose the babies, the mom decided to destroy the mammary gland tissue structures
228.4
meaning that the mom does not need to maintain the structures.
235.5
We next wanted to know whether the IgA producing plasma cells are still present in the forced weaning group. Because the aim of this experiment is to understand whether the suckling derived signaling from the baby to the mom is essential for the recruitment of IgA producing plasma cells into the mammary gland tissues. So we did an immunohistochemical analysis, using anti-IgA antibodies again to compare the number of IgA producing plasma cells in the mammary glands between two groups. As mentioned, in the normal lactation group, again you see a very high number of IgA producing plasma cells around the mammary gland alveoli They have a responsibility of producing milk protein.
294.4
However, in the forced weaning group, in this image, you only see two cells which are distinguished as IgA producing plasma cells. So the number of IgA producing plasma cells in normal lactation, well, in normal weaning group is very different.
318
And this is quantitative analysis. So you’ll see a dramatic change with a dramatic reduction in the forced weaning group. This result clearly indicated that the suckling derives signaling from the baby to the mom is essential for the recruitment of IgA producing plasma cells into the mammary gland. The baby is important, babies stimulate mom to recruit the IgA producing plasma cells in the mammary gland with the mother.

The concentration of IgA in milk increases gradually during lactation. Among them, there is one essential system to help maintain the mammary gland structure.

Professor Nochi will explain further a designed-experiment. In this experiment, thet prepared two groups. One is the normal lactation group, and the other is the forced weaning group. They compare the number of IgA-producing plasma cells in the mammary glands between two groups. The result indicated that the suckling derives signaling from the baby to the mom is essential for the recruitment of IgA-producing plasma cells into the mammary gland. The baby is important, babies stimulate mom to recruit the IgA producing plasma cells in the mammary gland with the mother.

This article is from the free online

Agriculture and Nutrition

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education