Degalactosylated/Desialylated Bovine Colostrum Induces Macrophage Phagocytic Activity Independently of Inflammatory Cytokine Production

Anticancer Res. 2015 Aug;35(8):4487-92.


Background/aim: Colostrum contains antibodies, such as immunoglobulin G (IgG), immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin M (IgM), and, therefore, has potent immunomodulating activity. In particular, IgA has an O-linked sugar chain similar to that in the group-specific component (Gc) protein, a precursor of the Gc protein-derived macrophage-activating factor (GcMAF). In the present study, we investigated the macrophage-activating effects of degalactosylated/desialylated bovine colostrum.

Results: We detected the positive band in degalactosylated/ desialylated bovine colostrum by western blotting using Helix pomatia agglutinin lectin. We also found that degalactosylated/ desialylated bovine colostrum could significantly enhance the phagocytic activity of mouse peritoneal macrophages in vitro and of intestinal macrophages in vivo. Besides, degalactosylated/desialylated bovine colostrum did not mediate the production of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β).

Conclusion: Similar to the use of GcMAF, degalactosylated/desialylated bovine colostrum can be used as a potential macrophage activator for various immunotherapies.

Keywords: GcMAF; degalactosylated/desialylated bovine colostrum; macrophage phagocytic activity; mouse intestinal macrophage; mouse peritoneal macrophage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Colostrum / immunology*
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Immunomodulation*
  • Interleukin-1beta / biosynthesis*
  • Lectins / immunology
  • Macrophage Activation / immunology*
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors / immunology
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phagocytosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / immunology


  • Helix lectin
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Lectins
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein
  • vitamin D-binding protein-macrophage activating factor