Presence of IL-9 in paired samples of human colostrum and transitional milk

Annalisa Marcuzzi, Liza Vecchi Brumatti, Lorenzo Caruso, Marco Copertino, Riccardo Davanzo, Oriano Radillo, Manola Comar, Lorenzo Monasta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Human colostrum and breast milk are known to contain high levels of cytokines, cytokine receptors, and chemokines. Objective: To investigate the presence and compare levels of soluble cytokines in paired samples of human colostrum and milk. Methods: Levels of 27 cytokines were measured in 9 paired samples of human colostrum (day 2 after delivery) and breast milk (day 4 or 5 after delivery) by using multiplex technology. Results: The majority of cytokines and chemokines investigated have been previously described in colostrum and/or breast milk. For the first time, we describe the presence of IL-9 in both human colostrum and milk. Of the 27 cytokines investigated, only IL-5 was absent in both colostrum and milk, whereas IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-15, IL-17, and MIP-1α were present in colostrum, but not in breast milk. In general, colostrum contained higher concentrations of cytokines with respect to human milk. Conclusion: Our data confirm and expand previous studies showing that human colostrum and breast milk are rich in cytokines and chemokines, including IL-9, which might contribute to the development of the immune system of the newborn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • breast milk
  • chemokines
  • colostrum
  • cytokine receptors
  • cytokines
  • human milk
  • IL-9

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Medicine(all)


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