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Keywords:

  • cytokine;
  • breast milk;
  • allergy

Macfarlane TV, Seager AL, Moller M, Morgan G, Thornton CA. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is present in human breast milk. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010: 21: e454–e456. © 2010 The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Munksgaard

Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) has emerged as a potential key mediator of both the initiation and maintenance of Th2 responsiveness and thereby the allergic inflammatory cascade. Given the possible role of TSLP in initiating Th2-mediated allergic disease more detailed investigation of TSLP expression and responsiveness in early life is warranted. Therefore, the presence of TSLP in breast milk was evaluated. Defatted human breast milk collected at 3–5 days and 11–26 days postpartum (n = 22/group) and commercially available ready-made baby formula (n = 3) were analysed for TSLP with a specific ELISA. TSLP was detectable in breast milk but not in commercial ready-made formulas. Levels in breast milk were significantly higher (p < 0.001) at 3–5 days than at 11–26 days postpartum. The potential role of breast milk TSLP in the development of immune function within the neonatal gastrointestinal tract and the development of allergy in childhood remain to be determined.