Abstract: Peptide therapy and the gastroenterologist:
Colostrum is the specialized milk produced for the first few days following parturition. It is much richer in immunoglobulins, antimicrobial peptides and growth factors than the subsequent mature milk. In this article, some of these constituents of human and bovine colostrum in comparison with mature milk are reviewed. Marked species differences exist in the constituents of both colostrum and mature milk.
Recent studies suggest that colostral fractions, or individual peptides present within colostrum, might be useful for the treatment of a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced gut injury and chemotherapy-induced mucositis. The relative merits of using colostral fractions as opposed to an individual recombinant peptide for the treatment of these various conditions are discussed.
Recent studies suggest that the growth factors contained within colostrum might provide novel therapeutic opportunities to treat a variety of gastrointestinal medical conditions. Some of the bioactive constituents of human and bovine colostrum in comparison with the milk produced later post-partum and some of the specific properties of the numerous growth factors that have been identified within the colostrum and milk are discussed. In addition, the therapeutic possibilities of using whole colostrum, or individual peptides present within the colostrum, for the treatment of various gastrointestinal diseases and the relative merits of using the two approaches are explored.
Constituents of colostrnm Growth factors are so called because historically they were identified by their ability to stimulate growth of various cell lines in culture situations in vitro but, in reality, the functions of these peptide-based molecules are considerably more diverse. Various nomenclatures have been ascribed to molecular species as they have been identified. As characterization has become more sophisticated, however, it is apparent that some of these differently named species are structurally and functionally similar and may, in fact, be identical. Although there are many similarities, there are also marked species differences in the nature and concentration of growth factor constituents: for example human colostrum has much higher concentrations of epidermal growth factor (EGF) than the bovine equivalent whereas the reverse is true for insulin-like growth factors I and II. Further details of individual peptides that form the major growth factor constituents of colostrum and milk are given below with the various members of related peptides grouped together.
2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
R. J. PLAYFORD Department of Gastroenterology, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK (Correspondence to.” R JR Division of Medicine, Gastroenterology Section, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, London 14/12 ONN UK)
Clinical Nutrition (2001) 20(Supplement 1): 101-106 9 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd doi:10.1054/clnu.2001.0434