Detection of four human milk groups with respect to Lewis-blood-group-dependent oligosaccharides by serologic and chromatographic analysis

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2001:501:299-306. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-1371-1_37.


Oligosaccharides from human milk samples obtained from individual donors were analyzed using high-pH anion-exchange chromatography. Three patterns of neutral oligosaccharides were detected corresponding to milk groups already described. These oligosaccharide groups correspond to the Lewis blood types Le(a-b+), Le(a+b-), and Le(a-b-). A new carbohydrate pattern was detected in a milk sample from a Le(a-b-) person in which only nonfucosylated oligosaccharides and compounds bearing alpha1,3-linked fucosyl residues were found. This finding led to the hypothesis that there exist 4 different oligosaccharide milk groups that fit well to the genetic basis of the Lewis blood group system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anions
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Female
  • Fucose / analysis
  • Fucose / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactose / analysis
  • Lewis Blood Group Antigens* / genetics
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis*
  • Oligosaccharides / chemistry
  • Oligosaccharides / genetics


  • Anions
  • Lewis Blood Group Antigens
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Fucose
  • Lactose