Mother's milk is widely accepted as nutritious and protective to the newborn mammals by providing not only macronutrients but also immune-defensive factors. However, the mechanisms accounting for these benefits are not fully understood. Here we show that maternal very-low-density-lipoprotein (VLDL) receptor deletion in mice causes the production of defective milk containing diminished levels of platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAFAH). As a consequence, the nursing neonates suffer from alopecia, anaemia and growth retardation owing to elevated levels of pro-inflammatory platelet-activating factors. VLDL receptor deletion significantly impairs the expression of phospholipase A2 group 7 (Pla2g7) in macrophages, which decreases PAFAH secretion. Exogenous oral supplementation of neonates with PAFAH effectively rescues the toxicity. These findings not only reveal a novel role of VLDL receptor in suppressing inflammation by maintaining macrophage PAFAH secretion, but also identify the maternal VLDL receptor as a key genetic program that ensures milk quality and protects the newborns.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Physics and Astronomy