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Influence of breastfeeding on blood-cell transcript-based biomarkers of health in children

Authors

  • T. Priego,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology (Nutrigenomics), University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    2. CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
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  • J. Sánchez,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology (Nutrigenomics), University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    2. CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
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  • C. Picó,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology (Nutrigenomics), University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    2. CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    • Address for correspondence: Dr C Picó, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology (Nutrigenomics), University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Campus de la Cra. Valldemossa Km 7.5, Palma de Mallorca 07122, Spain. E-mail: cati.pico@uib.es

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  • W. Ahrens,

    1. Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
    2. BIPS – Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research GmbH, Department of Epidemiological Methods and Etiologic Research, Bremen, Germany
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  • K. Bammann,

    1. Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
    2. BIPS – Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research GmbH, Department of Epidemiological Methods and Etiologic Research, Bremen, Germany
    3. Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research (IPP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
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  • S. De Henauw,

    1. Department of Public Health, Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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  • A. Fraterman,

    1. MVZ Eberhard & Partner Laboratoriumsmedizin, Dortmund, Germany
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  • L. Iacoviello,

    1. Laboratory of Genetic and Environmental Epidemiology, Research Laboratories, ‘John Paul II’ Centre for High Technology Research and Education in Biomedical Sciences at Catholic University, Campobasso, Italy
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  • L. Lissner,

    1. Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • D. Molnár,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
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  • L. A. Moreno,

    1. GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development) Research group, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
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  • A. Siani,

    1. Institute of Food Sciences, Unit of Epidemiology and Population Genetics, National Research Council, Avellino, Italy
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  • M. Tornaritis,

    1. Research and Education of Child Health Institute, Strovolos, Cyprus
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  • T. Veidebaum,

    1. National Institute for Health Development, Tervise Arengu Instituut, Tallinn, Estonia
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  • A. Palou,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology (Nutrigenomics), University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    2. CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
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  • and on behalf of the IDEFICS Consortium


Summary

What is already known about this subject

  • The expression of specific genes in peripheral blood cells (PBCs) may be used as biomarkers of the metabolic status.
  • High levels of expression of CPT1A, SLC27A2, INSR, LEPR, FASN and PPARα in PBCs are indicative of a lower risk for the insulin resistant or dyslipidaemic state associated with obesity in children.
  • Breastfeeding seems to confer protective effects against obesity and its related metabolic problems.

What this study adds

  • Children who had been breastfed showed higher expression levels of SLC27A2, FASN, PPARα and INSR in PBCs compared with formula-fed subjects.
  • The relationship of the PBC transcript levels of SLC27A2, INSR, FASN and PPARα with insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia may be dependent on the type of infant feeding (breast vs. formula).
  • The transcript levels of the mentioned biomarkers could be useful to distinguish the formula-fed children who are at higher risk of metabolic alterations.

Background

Blood-cell transcripts have showed to be good biomarkers of metabolic alterations and their use in early detection and prevention of future disorders is promising.

Objective

This study aimed to examine the relation between previously proposed transcriptional biomarkers of metabolic health (SLC27A2, CPT1A, FASN, PPARα, INSR, LEPR) in peripheral blood cells and the type of infant feeding in a subset of children from the IDEFICS (Identification and Prevention of Dietary- and Lifestyle-Induced Health Effects in Children and Infants) cohort.

Subjects

A total of 237 children aged 2–9 years from eight European countries were studied.

Results

Breastfed children showed higher expression levels of SLC27A2, FASN, PPARα and INSR, and lower risk of being overweight and of having high plasma triglyceride levels vs. formula-fed children. Besides, overweight formula-fed children presented higher HOMA-index than overweight breastfed children (1.90 vs. 1.62); however, this negative effect was absent in formula-fed children with high expression of SLC27A2. Moreover, formula-fed children with low expression of SLC27A2, FASN, PPARα and INSR presented higher triglyceride levels than subjects with high expression of these genes (77.7 mg dL−1 vs. 44.8 mg dL−1). This difference was absent in breastfed children.

Conclusions

Protective effects of breastfeeding are reflected in higher expression levels of SLC27A2, FASN, PPARα and INSR in blood cells. These biomarkers may also serve to discriminate the formula-fed children that are at higher risk of metabolic alterations.

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