September 30, 2022

Living Cells Discovered in Human Breast Milk Could Aid Breast Cancer Research

The study was led by scientists from the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute (CSCI) and the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge.
Breast tissue is vibrant, changing in time throughout adolescence, pregnancy, aging, and breastfeeding. The paper, published today (January 28, 2022) in the journal Nature Communications, focuses on the changes that happen throughout lactation by investigating cells discovered in human milk..

This research study, led by Dr. Alecia-Jane Twigger of CSCI, discovered that the cells in milk, as soon as thought to be dead or passing away, remain in truth quite alive. These living cells offer scientists with the opportunity to study not just the modifications that happen in mammary tissues during lactation, however likewise insight into a possible early indication of future breast cancer advancement..
” I think that by studying human milk cells, we will be able to respond to some of the most fundamental questions around mammary gland function such as: how is milk produced? Why do some females battle to make milk?
The scientists gathered voluntary breast milk samples from lactating females, as well as samples of non-lactating breast tissue donated from females who chose to have aesthetic breast reduction surgery. Utilizing single-cell RNA sequencing analysis, the group performed a novel contrast of the structure of the mammary cells taken utilizing these two methods, recognizing the distinctions in between lactating and non-lactating human mammary glands.
While accessing breast tissue for study relies on donors currently going through surgical treatment, breast milk samples are much easier to get. Breast milk donors are engaged by means of midwives or womens networks (an undertaking made more tough by the pandemic) and consent to share their samples gradually. Common daily production for lactating females is in between 750-800ml, and the sample size for Twiggers research study is on average a simple 50ml, an amount which can consist of numerous thousands of cells for research study..
By collecting these samples donated by breastfeeding ladies– samples now known to contain living and viable cells– scientists have the opportunity to capture dynamic cells in a non-invasive way. This greater ease of access to breast cells can open the door to more studies on womens health in the future..
” The very first time Alecia informed me that she discovered live cells in milk I was fired up and surprised about the possibilities. We hope this finding will allow future studies into the early steps of breast cancer,” said Dr. Walid Khaled, at the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and University of Cambridges Department of Pharmacology, who was also associated with the research study.
Recommendation: 28 January 2022, Nature Communications.DOI: 10.1038/ s41467-021-27895-0.
This paper and its findings become part of the Human Breast Cell Atlas project moneyed by the MRC.

” I think that by studying human milk cells, we will be able to address some of the most fundamental concerns around mammary gland function such as: how is milk produced? While accessing breast tissue for study relies on donors already undergoing surgical treatment, breast milk samples are much easier to obtain. Breast milk donors are engaged through females or midwivess networks (an endeavor made more tough by the pandemic) and concur to share their samples over time.

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