Phytoestrogens Weaken the Blood-Milk Barrier in Lactating Mammary Epithelial Cells by Affecting Tight Junctions and Cell Viability

Yusaku Tsugami, Kota Matsunaga, Takahiro Suzuki, Takanori Nishimura, Ken Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During lactation, mammary epithelial cells (MECs) form the blood-milk barrier by less-permeable tight junctions (TJs) to prevent the leakage of milk components. Phytoestrogens affect the proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of MECs. However, it remains unclear whether phytoestrogens are involved in the blood-milk barrier. Therefore, we investigated the influence of phytoestrogens (coumestrol, genistein, and daidzein) by using an in vitro mouse-MEC-culture model. The results showed that coumestrol and genistein changed the expression of TJ proteins (claudins-3 and -4 and occludin), weakened barrier function, and reduced β-casein production. Daidzein also weakened barrier function without inhibiting β-casein production. Additionally, coumestrol and genistein induced apoptosis in MECs. These results indicate that phytoestrogens weaken the blood-milk barrier by directly affecting TJs and the cellular viability of lactating MECs in different ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11118-11124
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume65
Issue number50
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 20 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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