Article metrics


Colostrum was obtained about 3 hours after breast feeding from 27 healthy mothers, 1-3 days after delivery. The phagocytic cell concentration of colostrum varied considerably amongst different donors. Ten samples were hypercellular (>5×106/ml); 6 were cellular (1-5×106/ml) and 11 were hypocellular (<1×106/ml). The chemotactic activity of colostrum was measured in serial dilutions on day of collection using microchemotaxis chambers (neuroprobe) on mononuclear phagocytes (MNP) from peripheral blood of normal donors. In all assays, FMLP was included as the reference standard. In order to minimize the error introduced by variability in chemotactic responsiveness of different MNP preparations, the results are expressed relative to chemotaxis elicited by optimal concentration of the reference standard (10-8M, migration 20-35%). The relative chemotactic potency (RCP) of hypercellular colostrum was highest (142±25%, dil.1:100) and differed significantly from the RCP of cellular or hypocellular samples (p<0.01). Similarly, RCP of cellular colostrum was greater than than of hypocellular samples (102±13 and 38±10% respectively, p<0.01). The overall RCP of colostrum correlated with the total phagocyte concentration (y=64.9+45.6log x; r2=0.897), as well as, with the absolute polymorphonuclear and MNP concentrations. Thus, phagocytic cell content of colostrum is proportionate to the potency of its chemotactic activity and the generation of chemotactic activity is likely to provide the immunologic bases for influx of phagocytes into colostrum.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Aker, M., Audera, C., Polin, R. et al. CHEMOTACTIC ACTIVITY IN HUMAN COLOSTRAL MILK - CORRELATION WITH PHAGOCYTIC CELL CONCENTRATION. Pediatr Res 18, 251 (1984) doi:10.1203/00006450-198404001-00950

Download citation