Milk fat globules (MFGs) secreted by lactating mammary gland are unique lipid surrounded by a phospholipid bi-layer. We report here post-weaning changes in milk fat globule EGF factor VIII (MFG-E8) and annexin V-accessible phosphatidylserine on the surface of MFGs. The MFG content in milk markedly decreased to about half within 2 days after forced weaning, despite a slight increase in milk protein content. Immunofluorescence-staining of MFGs using anti-MFG-E8 and annexin V indicated that MFG-E8 was present on some, but not all, MFGs before weaning, whereas most of MFGs were MFG-E8-positive and annexin V-negative after weaning. Free MFG-E8 with binding activity to phosphatidylserine was present abundantly in the post-weaning milk, and indeed exhibited binding to MFGs in pre-weaning milk. MFGs were taken up by HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells in vitro, and those from post-weaning milk were remarkable for such cellular uptake. Moreover, the uptake of MFGs by the cells was inhibited by an anti-MFG-E8 antibody. Taken together, these findings suggest that MFG-E8 plays a critical role in regulation of MFG dynamics after weaning or during the suckling interval through the control of MFG-epithelial cell interaction in lactating mammary glands.
- mammary gland
- milk fat globule membrane
- fat metabolism
Nakatani, H., Yasueda, T., Oshima, K., Okajima, T., Nadano, D., Flint, D. J., & Matsuda, T. (2013). Post-weaning increases in the milk-fat globule EGF-factor VIII on fat globules in mouse milk and in the uptake of the fat globules by HC11 mammary epithelial cells. Journal of Biochemistry, 153(1), 31-41. https://doi.org/10.1093/jb/mvs116