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Transport of a peptide from bovine αs1-casein across models of the intestinal and blood–brain barriers

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The effect of food components on brain growth and development has attracted increasing attention. Milk has been shown to contain peptides that deliver important signals to the brains of neonates and infants. In order to reach the brain, milk peptides have to resist proteolytic degradation in the gastrointestinal tract, cross the gastrointestinal barrier and later cross the highly selective blood–brain barrier (BBB). To investigate this, we purified and characterized endogenous peptides from bovine milk and investigated their apical to basal transport by using human intestinal Caco-2 cells and primary porcine brain endothelial cell monolayer models. Among 192 characterized milk peptides, only the αS1-casein peptide185PIGSENSEKTTMPLW199, and especially fragments of this peptide processed during the transport, could cross both the intestinal barrier and the BBB cell monolayer models. This peptide was also shown to resist simulated gastrointestinal digestion. This study demonstrates that a milk derived peptide can cross the major biological barriers in vitro and potentially reach the brain, where it may deliver physiological signals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3157
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • Blood–brain barrier, Caco-2 cells, Gastrointestinal digestion, Milk peptides, Peptide transport

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