The effects of probiotic supplementation on the gene expressions of immune cell surface markers and levels of antibodies and pro-inflammatory cytokines in human milk



This study investigated the impact of probiotic supplementation on the gene expressions of cluster of differentiation (CD) as cell markers and the concentrations of antibodies and cytokines in human milk.

Study design

Gene expressions of CD28, CD19, and CD38 were determined in milk from 15 women ingesting daily probiotics (from Greek yogurt) and 12 women who do not consume probiotics. Concentrations of antibodies and cytokines were measured using ELISA.


Gene expression of CD28 tended to be higher in milk from mothers ingesting daily probiotics than mothers who did not take probiotics. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentration in milk was higher in mothers ingesting probiotics than those who do not consume probiotics. The increase of IL-6 level in human milk was positively correlated with total IgA and IgG concentrations.


Probiotic supplementation could enhance the secretion of IL-6 in human milk. Human milk IL-6 may improve neonatal immunity due to its stimulation of total IgA and IgG.

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Fig. 1: Overall gene expression of the cluster of differentiation (CD) as cell markers and concentration of antibodies and pro-inflammatory cytokines in human milk.
Fig. 2: Effects of probiotic supplementation (at least one billion of probiotic bacteria per day from Greek yogurt) on the gene expressions of the cluster of differentiation (CD) as cell markers and the concentrations of antibodies and pro-inflammatory cytokines in human milk.
Fig. 3: Correlation between the gene expression of the cluster of differentiation (CD) as cell markers and the concentrations of antibodies and pro-inflammatory cytokines in human milk.


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We thank all study participants for their valuable contributions.


The authors (VD-M, GBM, CD, and ED) disclosed receipt of the financial support from Medolac Laboratories A Public Benefit Corporation for the conduct of the study.

Author information




VD-M conceptualized and designed the study, carried out the RT-qPCR of immune cells, cytokine ELISA, the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. GBM and CD performed antibody ELISA. VD-M have primary responsibility for the final content. EM have obtained the funding acquisition of this study. GBM, CD, and EM approved the final paper as submitted.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Veronique Demers-Mathieu.

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VD-M, GBM, CD, and EM are employees of Medolac Laboratories.

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Demers-Mathieu, V., Mathijssen, G.B., DaPra, C. et al. The effects of probiotic supplementation on the gene expressions of immune cell surface markers and levels of antibodies and pro-inflammatory cytokines in human milk. J Perinatol (2020).

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