Mesenchymal Stem-Like Cells in Human Breast Milk

Mesenchymal Stem-Like Cells in Human Breast Milk


Milk has long been considered a source of nourishment, but recent research suggests that it may possess regenerative properties as well. Human breastmilk is not only a vital source of nutrition for infants but also contains a diverse range of cells and proteins with potential therapeutic applications. In recent years, researchers have turned their attention to mesenchymal stem-like cells found in breastmilk and their secretome. This article explores a groundbreaking study that delves into the proteomic analysis of these cells under hypoxic and non-hypoxic conditions, shedding light on their potential implications for cardiovascular therapy.

Breastmilk has long been recognized for its nutritional benefits, but recent studies have revealed the presence of mesenchymal stem-like cells in this remarkable fluid. These cells possess characteristics similar to traditional mesenchymal stem cells and express genes associated with pluripotency. Their abundance in breastmilk makes them a potential alternative source of stem cells for various therapeutic applications.

Bioactive peptides found in milk have been associated with various health benefits.

The Significance of Hypoxia

Hypoxia, a condition characterized by low oxygen levels, plays a crucial role in the biology of stem cells. To investigate the influence of hypoxia on breastmilk-derived stem cells, researchers conducted a proteomic analysis of the secretome under both hypoxic and non-hypoxic conditions. This analysis aimed to uncover any differences in protein expression and identify potential modulators of angiogenesis.

Methodology and Findings

Breastmilk was collected from healthy breastfeeding women and processed in a sterile environment. The isolated breastmilk cells were cultured, and after reaching confluence, the mesenchymal stem-like cells were isolated and analyzed. The proteomic analysis revealed distinct protein profiles between the hypoxia and non-hypoxia groups. Notably, certain proteins such as transforming growth factor-β, VE-cadherin, and caspase were found to be present in the hypoxic secretome.

Implications for Cardiovascular Therapy

The identification of these proteins in the hypoxic secretome of breastmilk-derived stem cells holds great promise for cardiovascular therapy. Transforming growth factor-β, known for its role in angiogenesis, may act as a modulator of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-mediated angiogenesis. This suggests that breastmilk-derived stem cells and their secretome could potentially be utilized in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for cardiovascular diseases.

Implications for Wound Healing and Dermatology

Based on the findings, milk, with its ability to activate p-Erk kinase, holds promise for wound healing and regenerative dermatology. The noncasein bioactive peptides present in milk and colostrum contribute to their anti-inflammatory properties, making them potentially useful in treating inflammatory skin conditions.


The proteomic analysis of mesenchymal stem-like cells from human breastmilk under hypoxic and non-hypoxic conditions has revealed intriguing insights into the potential therapeutic applications of these cells. The identification of specific proteins in the hypoxic secretome, such as transforming growth factor-β, highlights their role in modulating angiogenesis. This groundbreaking research paves the way for further exploration of breastmilk-derived stem cells and their secretome in cardiovascular therapy and opens up new avenues for regenerative medicine. As we continue to unravel the secrets of breastmilk, we gain a deeper appreciation for its remarkable properties and its potential to revolutionize medical science.

The presence of bioactive peptides in milk suggests its potential in wound healing, regenerative medicine, and dermatology. Further research in this area could unlock new therapeutic possibilities and revolutionize the field of skin regeneration. As we continue to explore the regenerative properties of milk, we gain a deeper understanding of its potential applications in promoting skin health and rejuvenation.

1. Proteomic analysis of hypoxia and non-hypoxia secretome mesenchymal stem-like cells from human breastmilk
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