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Published Online: 1 November 2017

Human Milk Adrenomedullin Is Unstable During Cold Storage at 4°C

Publication: Breastfeeding Medicine
Volume 12, Issue Number 9


Introduction: Under some circumstances human milk (HM) extraction and refrigerated storage may be necessary. Depending on the length and on the type of cold storage, milk may lose some important properties, but current advices on safe HM storage are discordant. Moreover until now no data in literature were present on the effect of prolonged cold storage on biologically active components of the HM such as adrenomedullin (AM). This important peptide is involved in response to hypoxia and inflammation, associated with neovascularization, in several tissues. The aim is to evaluate: (a) the presence of AM in preterm and term HM and (b) the concentration of AM in refrigerated milk at 4°C at 24-hour intervals, up to 96 hours of storage.
Materials and Methods: The experiment was repeated four times. Immediately after collection, each HM sample deriving from each mother was divided into two parts as follows: “Pool” line and “Single Mother” line. One part (Pool line) was pooled and then divided into five aliquots. The other part (Single Mother line) was divided into five aliquots. From each line, one aliquot was analyzed within 3 hours, while the others were stored in the refrigerator for 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours, respectively, and then analyzed. AM levels were determined using a specific ELISA test.
Results: AM was detectable in all samples. Its concentration was significantly higher in preterm milk with respect to term milk (p < 0.05). Significant differences were observed during the cold storage: the AM levels decreased steadily during the storage and the remaining concentration at 96 hours is ∼2%.
Discussion: This study provides evidences regarding the presence of AM in HM, regardless of the gestational age. In particular, the refrigeration of fresh HM in controlled conditions significantly affected its bioactivity and nutritional quality related with AM, already at 24 hours.

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Published In

cover image Breastfeeding Medicine
Breastfeeding Medicine
Volume 12Issue Number 9November 2017
Pages: 561 - 565
PubMed: 28956619


Published in print: November 2017
Published online: 1 November 2017
Published ahead of print: 28 September 2017


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Chiara Peila
Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
Alessandra Coscia
Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
Enrico Bertino
Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
Giovanni Li Volti
Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
Fabio Galvano
Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
Ignazio Barbagallo
Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
Diego Gazzolo
Department of Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Health, C. Arrigo Children's Hospital, Alessandria, Italy.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, G. d'Annunzio University, Chieti, Italy.


Address correspondence to:Chiara Peila, MDNeonatology UnitDepartment of Public Health and PediatricsUniversity of TurinVia Ventimiglia, 3Turin I-10131Italy
E-mail: [email protected]

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No competing financial interests exist.

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