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Pediatr Res. 2017 Jul;82(1):63-71. doi: 10.1038/pr.2017.77. Epub 2017 May 24.

Effects of osteopontin-enriched formula on lymphocyte subsets in the first 6 months of life: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Clincial Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Arla Foods Ingredients, Viby, Denmark.
Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, California.
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.
Department of Pediatrics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


BackgroundHuman milk is rich in osteopontin (OPN), which has immunomodulatory functions.MethodsIn a randomized controlled trial, standard formula (SF) and the same formula with 65 mg of OPN/L (F65) or 130 mg of OPN/L (F130), representing ~50 and 100% of the OPN concentration in human milk, were compared. We examined frequencies and composition of peripheral blood immune cells by four-color immunoflow cytometry of formula-fed infants at ages 1, 4, and 6 months, and compared them with a breastfed (BF) reference group.ResultsThe F130 group had increased T-cell proportions compared with the SF (P=0.036, average effect size 0.51) and F65 groups (P=0.008, average effect size 0.65). Compared with the BF group, the monocyte proportions were increased in the F65 (P=0.001, average effect size 0.59) and F130 (P=0.006, average effect size 0.50) groups, but were comparable among the formula groups.ConclusionOPN in an infant formula at a concentration close to that of human milk increased the proportion of circulating T cells compared with both SF and formula with added OPN at ~50% of the concentration in human milk. This suggests that OPN may favorably influence immune ontogeny in infancy and that the effects appear to be dose-dependent.

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