Human milk glycobiome and its impact on the infant gastrointestinal microbiota

Edited by Todd R. Klaenhammer, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, and approved July 2, 2010 (received for review March 10, 2010)
August 2, 2010
108 (supplement_1) 4653-4658

Abstract

Human milk contains an unexpected abundance and diversity of complex oligosaccharides apparently indigestible by the developing infant and instead targeted to its cognate gastrointestinal microbiota. Recent advances in mass spectrometry-based tools have provided a view of the oligosaccharide structures produced in milk across stages of lactation and among human mothers. One postulated function for these oligosaccharides is to enrich a specific “healthy” microbiota containing bifidobacteria, a genus commonly observed in the feces of breast-fed infants. Isolated culture studies indeed show selective growth of infant-borne bifidobacteria on milk oligosaccharides or core components therein. Parallel glycoprofiling documented that numerous Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis strains preferentially consume small mass oligosaccharides that are abundant early in the lactation cycle. Genome sequencing of numerous B. longum subsp. infantis strains shows a bias toward genes required to use mammalian-derived carbohydrates by comparison with adult-borne bifidobacteria. This intriguing strategy of mammalian lactation to selectively nourish genetically compatible bacteria in infants with a complex array of free oligosaccharides serves as a model of how to influence the human supraorganismal system, which includes the gastrointestinal microbiota.

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Acknowledgments

We thank all the students, postdocs, and staff in the University of California–Davis Milk Bioactives Program (http://mbp.ucdavis.edu/) and Functional Glycobiology Program (http://fgp.ucdavis.edu/) for their hard work and inspiration. We specifically acknowledge David Sela and Mariana Barboza for their assistance in preparing this manuscript. This publication was made possible in part by support from the University of California Discovery Grant Program, the California Dairy Research Foundation, US Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative Cooperative State Research Education, and Extension Service Award 2008-35200-18776, National Institute on Environmental Health Sciences Superfund P42 ES02710, the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment Study Grant P01 ES11269, and National Institutes of Health–National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Awards 5R01HD059127 and 1R01HD061923.

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Information & Authors

Information

Published in

Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Vol. 108 | No. supplement_1
March 15, 2011
PubMed: 20679197

Classifications

Submission history

Published online: August 2, 2010
Published in issue: March 15, 2011

Keywords

  1. glycoprofiling
  2. human milk oligosaccharides
  3. infant microbiota
  4. Bifidobacterium
  5. diet

Acknowledgments

We thank all the students, postdocs, and staff in the University of California–Davis Milk Bioactives Program (http://mbp.ucdavis.edu/) and Functional Glycobiology Program (http://fgp.ucdavis.edu/) for their hard work and inspiration. We specifically acknowledge David Sela and Mariana Barboza for their assistance in preparing this manuscript. This publication was made possible in part by support from the University of California Discovery Grant Program, the California Dairy Research Foundation, US Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative Cooperative State Research Education, and Extension Service Award 2008-35200-18776, National Institute on Environmental Health Sciences Superfund P42 ES02710, the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment Study Grant P01 ES11269, and National Institutes of Health–National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Awards 5R01HD059127 and 1R01HD061923.

Notes

This paper results from the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences, “Microbes and Health,” held November 2–3, 2009, at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, CA. The complete program and audio files of most presentations are available on the NAS Web site at http://www.nasonline.org/SACKLER_Microbes_and_Health.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

Authors

Affiliations

Angela M. Zivkovic
Foods for Health Institute,
Department of Food Science and Technology,
Functional Glycobiology Program,
J. Bruce German
Foods for Health Institute,
Department of Food Science and Technology,
Functional Glycobiology Program,
Carlito B. Lebrilla
Foods for Health Institute,
Functional Glycobiology Program,
Department of Chemistry,
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine,
David A. Mills1 [email protected]
Foods for Health Institute,
Functional Glycobiology Program,
Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, and
Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

Notes

1
To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected].
Author contributions: A.M.Z., J.B.G., C.B.L., and D.A.M. wrote the paper.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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    Human milk glycobiome and its impact on the infant gastrointestinal microbiota
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    • Vol. 108
    • No. supplement_1
    • pp. 4513-4695

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