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Kolhāpur, India

Patki S.,Patki Research Foundation | Patki S.,Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil University | Patki U.,Patki Research Foundation | Patki U.,Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil University | And 7 more authors.
Cytokine | Year: 2012

The process of the growth of the fetus begins in the uterus and gets further accelerated following the birth, especially during initial few months. The role of the growth factors in the physiology of the cellular growth is already well established. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) seem to be imperative for angiogenesis, cell development and proliferation as well as maintenance of the tissues. The levels of these factors in the maternal serum during pregnancy as well as during postpartum period are insignificant. Consequently, we hypothesized that the fetus receives moderate supply of these growth factors from the placenta during its stay in the uterus. This supply gets further augmented during the postpartum period through the different source, i.e. mother's milk. To study this physiological transition of the source of the growth factors from the placenta to the breast milk, the concentrations of VEGF and HGF in the cord serum of full term neonates and that in the breast milk of the corresponding mothers were analyzed during ELISA. The human milk, especially the colostrum revealed significantly higher levels of VEGF and HGF (1541.759 ± 119.349. pg/ml and 7129.249 ± 273.472. pg/ml) than cord serum (16.632 ± 0.773. pg/ml and 2581.6 ± 108.275. pg/ml) respectively. The multifold higher levels of VEGF observed in colostrum probably correlates with its high neonatal requirement for the maturation of the gastrointestinal epithelium following birth. The higher levels of both the growth factors in the breast milk than those observed in the cord serum probably explain their higher needs by the neonates for immunological protection, protein synthesis and neurocognitive development. The observations of the present study strengthen the policy of the colostrum feeding, which is promoted by organizations like World Health Organization (WHO). This study further documents the fact that the commercial milk formulae cannot replace the human milk. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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