Interpretive Summary: Implications of placentation type on species-specific colostrum properties in mammals
By: Naomi A Bigler, Rupert M Bruckmaier, Josef J Gross
During evolution of mammalians, intrinsic strategies and components of maternal care during the transition from pregnancy to lactation have evolved into a broad variety in gestation length, number, size, and maturation stage of the offspring at parturition, and colostrum and milk composition. The original purpose of immuno-protective glandular secretions is still conserved in many mammalian species, where colostrum, that is, the very first milk obtained after parturition, contains the greatest amounts of immunoglobulins, leukocytes, lysozyme, lactoferrin, oligosaccharides, etc. Apart from its nutritive function, bioactive components in colostrum and milk support the development of gastrointestinal structures and intestinal microflora. Depending on the placentation type and intrauterine transfer of immunoglobulins, the survival of the neonate depends more or less on the passive transfer of immunoglobulins via colostrum. The aim of the present review is to describe relationships between placenta function and colostrum (and milk, respectively) composition in different mammalian species. Special attention is paid to the transfer of passive immunity from the dam to the offspring.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.