Interleukin-10 in human milk

Roberto Garofalo, Sadhana Chheda, Fang Mei, Kimberly H. Palkowetz, Helen E. Rudloff, Frank C. Schmalstieg, David K. Rassin, Armond S. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


The concentrations of immunoreactive IL-10 in the aqueous fraction of 20 specimens of human milk obtained during the first 80 h of lactation and stored at 60°C ranged from 66 to 9301 pg/mL (mean ± SD, 3304 ± 3127 pg/mL). IL-10 was present also in the lipid layer of milk. Gel filtration revealed that IL-10 was located in a high molecular weight fraction, where certain other cytokines in human milk have been found. In addition, immunoreactive IL-10 in milk increased after treatment with sodium taurocholate. Bioactive IL-10 was demonstrated by the finding that human milk inhibited [3H]thymidine uptake by human blood lymphocytes and that inhibition was partly overcome by concomitant incubation with antibodies to human IL-10. IL-10 mRNA but no protein product was found in cultured human mammary epithelial cells. Some IL-10 was associated with preparations of human milk leukocytes, but the data did not suggest that the cells were producing the cytokine. Bioactive IL-10 in a possible protected compartment suggests that IL-10 in human milk may have immunomodulating, antiinflammatory effects on the alimentary tract of the recipient infant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-449
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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