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To investigate the relationships between dietary intake and fecal concentrations of milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor 8 (MFG-E8), and between fecal concentrations of MFG-E8 and markers of intestinal inflammation in infants born preterm. Fecal samples were collected daily and enteral feedings were sampled weekly. MFG-E8 in enteral feedings and feces, and cytokine concentrations in feces were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Milk MFG-E8 concentrations were significantly greater in unfortified mother's own milk (MOM) and MOM with human milk fortifier than either donor human milk or preterm formula. MFG-E8 concentrations in fecal samples were positively correlated with MFG-E8 concentrations in respective milks. High MFG-E8 exposure (≥60 mL/kg/day of feedings that include MOM or MOM with human milk fortifier) was associated with lower concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-8, tumor necrosis factor-α, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) and higher concentrations of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-4 in feces, compared with low MFG-E8 exposure. Infants born preterm who were fed MOM had greater concentrations of MFG-E8 and lower concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines in fecal samples than other diets or no feedings. These data further support the protective role of MOM, possibly because of MFG-E8, against intestinal inflammation. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Joseph A Asaro, Zarak Khan, Mariana Brewer, Karen Klose, Cynthia Pesce, Richard J Schanler, Champa N Codipilly. Relationship Between Milk Fat Globule-Epidermal Growth Factor 8 and Intestinal Cytokines in Infants Born Preterm. The Journal of pediatrics. 2021 Mar;230:71-75.e1

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PMID: 33181195

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