Construction of a Synthetic Colostrum Substitute and Its Protection of Intestinal Cells against Inflammation in an In Vitro Model of Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Syaza Y. Binte Abu Bakar
  • Malinda Salim
  • Andrew J. Clulow
  • Susanne Seibt
  • Cornelia B. Landersdorfer
  • Donna T. Geddes
  • Kevin R. Nicholas
  • Boyd, Ben

Colostrum provides bioactive components that are essential for the colonization of microbiota in the infant gut, while preventing infectious diseases such as necrotizing enterocolitis. As colostrum is not always available from the mother, particularly for premature infants, effective and safe substitutes are keenly sought after by neonatologists. The benefits of bioactive factors in colostrum are recognized; however, there have been no accounts of human colostrum being studied during digestion of the lipid components or their self-assembly in gastrointestinal environments. Due to the weaker bile pool in infants than adults, evaluating the lipid composition of human colostrum and linking it to structural self-assembly behavior is important in these settings and thus enabling the formulation of substitutes for colostrum. This study is aimed at the rational design of an appropriate lipid component for a colostrum substitute and determining the ability of this formulation to reduce inflammation in intestinal cells. Gas chromatography was utilized to map lipid composition. The self-assembly of lipid components occurring during digestion of colostrum was monitored using small-angle X-ray scattering for comparison with substitute mixtures containing pure triglyceride lipids based on their abundance in colostrum. The digestion profiles of human colostrum and the substitute mixtures were similar. Subtle differences in lipid self-assembly were evident, with the substitute mixtures exhibiting additional non-lamellar phases, which were not seen for human colostrum. The difference is attributable to the distribution of free fatty acids released during digestion. The biological markers of necrotizing enterocolitis were modulated in cells that were treated with bifidobacteria cultured on colostrum substitute mixtures, compared to those treated with infant formula. These findings provide an insight into a colostrum substitute mixture that resembles human colostrum in terms of composition and structural behavior during digestion and potentially reduces some of the characteristics associated with necrotizing enterocolitis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number30
Pages (from-to)35847-35859
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • human colostrum, intestinal epithelial cells, lipids, necrotizing enterocolitis, small-angle X-ray scattering

ID: 366497709