Recombinant Human Prolactin Increases Milk Volume

Recombinant human prolactin linked to increase in maturation of milk composition

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with recombinant human prolactin (r-hPRL) increases milk volume, induces changes in milk composition similar to those that take place in regular lactogenesis, and increases antimicrobially active oligosaccharide concentrations for women who have both prolactin deficiency and lactation insufficiency, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in Pediatrics.

Camille E. Powe, from Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues conducted two trials with r-hPRL. In the first trial, they looked at five mothers with documented prolactin deficiency and gave them r-hPRL every 12 hours in a 28-day open-label trial. In the second trial, they studied the effect of r-hPRL on 10 mothers with lactation insufficiency in a seven-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The characteristics of the participants breast milk before and during the seven days of treatment were compared.

The researchers found that mothers treated with r-hPRL had increased milk volumes, increased milk lactose levels, and decreased milk sodium levels. In those who received r-hPRL twice daily, the milk calcium levels increased, as well. Total neutral and acidic oligosaccharide levels increased in mothers treated with r-hPRL, and total daily milk immunoglobulin A secretion showed no change.

"For mothers with prolactin deficiency and lactation insufficiency, r-hPRL treatment resulted in increased milk volume and maturation of milk composition. Milk prolactin levels increased with r-hPRL treatment but only to levels seen during normal lactogenesis," the authors write.

Genzyme provided the treatment (r-hPRL) that was evaluated in this study. One of the study authors also disclosed financial ties with Genzyme.

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