Background: TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a pleiotropic cytokine, which plays a key role in the immune system as well as in controlling the balance of apoptosis and proliferation in various organs and tissues.Objective: To investigate the presence and levels of soluble TRAIL in human colostrum and milk.Methods: The levels of soluble human TRAIL were measured in human colostrum (day 2 after delivery) and breast milk (day 5 after delivery). The presence of TRAIL was also measured in infant formula.Results: Levels of soluble TRAIL in the colostrum and mature human milk were, respectively, at least 400 and 100 fold higher than those detected in human serum. No TRAIL was detected in formula.Conclusion: Human soluble TRAIL is present at extremely high levels in human colostrum and human milk and might have a significant role in mediating the anti-cancer activity of human milk.
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