IMDIAB group: Paolo Pozzilli, Natalia Visalli, Maria G. Cavallo, Alberto Signore, Marco G. Baroni, Raffaella Buzzetti, Giusy Coppolino, Chiara A. Mesturino, Rossana Fiori, Lucio Lucentini, Maria C. Matteoli, Antonino Crinò, Stefania Spera, Carlo Teodonio, Francesco Paci, Rita Amoretti, Luigi Pisano, Concetta Suraci, Giuseppe Multari, Nicoletta Sulli, Marco Cervoni, Giancarlo De Mattia, Maria R. Cassone Faldetta, Bruno Boscherini, Maria L. Manca Bitti, Giovanni Marietti, Federica Ferrazzoli, Carla Bizzarri, Dario Pitocco, Giovanni Ghirlanda.
Bovine β-casein antibodies in breast- and bottle-fed infants: their relevance in Type 1 diabetes
Article first published online: 22 NOV 2000
Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 51–54, January/February 2001
How to Cite
Monetini, L., Cavallo, M. G., Stefanini, L., Ferrazzoli, F., Bizzarri, C., Marietti, G., Curro, V., Cervoni, M. and Pozzilli, P. (2001), Bovine β-casein antibodies in breast- and bottle-fed infants: their relevance in Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Metab. Res. Rev., 17: 51–54. doi: 10.1002/1520-7560(2000)9999:9999<::AID-DMRR156>3.0.CO;2-H
- Issue published online: 19 FEB 2001
- Article first published online: 22 NOV 2000
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 SEP 2000
- Manuscript Revised: 12 SEP 2000
- Manuscript Received: 13 JUN 2000
- Universities of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’
- Universities of Rome ‘Campus Biomedico’
- Centro Internazionale Studi Diabete, Rome, Italy
- Fondazione ‘Istituto Pastuer-Cenci Bolognetti’
- Type 1 diabetes;
- cow's milk;
- β-casein antibodies
Bovine β-casein is a cow's milk protein that targets both humoral and cellular immune responses in patients with Type 1 diabetes and, to a lesser degree, also in normal subjects. In this study we aimed to determine whether the avoidance of cow's milk consumption early in life could prevent the development of antibody response to bovine β-casein despite the mother being exposed on a daily basis to cow's milk consumption.
Materials and Methods
We measured the antibody response to bovine β-casein using an ELISA method in 28 healthy infants under 4 months of age, of whom 16 were exclusively breast-fed and 12 were bottle-fed with cow's milk. In addition, β-casein antibodies were measured in 37 prepubertal children with Type 1 diabetes and in 31 healthy children who were exposed to cow's milk or dairy products to see whether differences in antibody titers exist in this young age group. Antibodies binding to β-casein were also evaluated by immunoblotting analysis.
Elevated levels of β-casein antibodies were found in bottle-fed infants compared to breast-fed infants (p<0.0001). Antibody levels to bovine β-casein were also significantly higher in children with Type 1 diabetes compared to age-matched controls (p=0.03). By western blot analysis we confirmed specific binding to bovine β-casein in bottle-fed infants, in children with Type 1 diabetes and in controls exposed to cow's milk, but not in infants who were exclusively breast-fed.
The results of this study indicate that breastfeeding within the first 4 months of life prevents the generation of antibody response to bovine β-casein despite the mothers' consumption of cow's milk during the breastfeeding period. These findings may have relevance for disease prevention. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.