Human Milk Oligosaccharides Improve Tight Junction Proteins in Disrupted Intestinal Epithelial Cells


  • Patcharin Kaewboonraung Graduate student in Master of Science Program in Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital and Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University
  • Rodjana Chunhabundit Graduate Program in Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
  • Saravut Satitsri Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Institute, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
  • Wararat Chiangjong Pediatric Translational Research Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
  • Phanphen Phoonlapdacha Division of Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Nalinee Chongviriyaphan Division of Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand


Human milk, Human milk oligosaccharides, Tight junction protein, Disruption


The strength of intestinal barrier through tight junction proteins, such as Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Occludin, is an important factor for nutrient digestion and absorption to promote growth of the body. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) can protect the integrity of tight junction on the inflammation of intestinal epithelial cells. However, the distinct biological activity of HMOs in human milk on intestinal barrier and inflammation response remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the patterns of HMOs in human milk and their preventive effects to the tight junction proteins disrupted by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a). Breast milk samples from 23 Thai lactating women were separated using 3kDa cut-off column and then purified using solid phase extraction cartridges. The mass spectra of purified HMOs from individual milk samples were created using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The effect of each pattern of HMOs on TNF-a-induced Caco-2 cell monolayer disruption was examined using transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurement. The expression of ZO-1 and Occludin was assessed using immunofluorescence. Nine patterns of HMOs were found. The two major HMOs were galacto-oligosaccharides and sialyllactose (SL) group, particularly 3’SL and 6’SL. The level of TEER increased in the presence of HMOs, especially 3’SL and 6’SL. ZO-1 and Occludin were increasingly expressed in the presence of HMOs. In conclusion, this study suggests that HMO patterns of SL groups show the most protective effect on disruption of tight junction proteins.


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How to Cite

Kaewboonraung, P., Chunhabundit, R., Satitsri, S., Chiangjong, W., Phoonlapdacha, P., & Chongviriyaphan, N. . (2023). Human Milk Oligosaccharides Improve Tight Junction Proteins in Disrupted Intestinal Epithelial Cells . Journal of Nutrition Association of Thailand, 58(1), 91–106. Retrieved from



Research article