Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

 MicroRNAs: Milk´s epigenetic regulators
 
Our perception of milk has changed from a ?simple food? to a highly sophisticated maternal-neonatal nutrient and communication system orchestrating early programming of the infant. Milk miRNAs delivered by exosomes and milk fat globules derived from mammary gland epithelial cells play a key role in this process. Exosomes resist the harsh intestinal environment, are taken up by intestinal cells via endocytosis, and reach the systemic circulation of the milk recipient. The most abundant miRNA found in exosomes and milk fat globules of human and cow´s milk, miRNA-148a, attenuates the expression of DNA methyltransferase 1, which is critically involved in epigenetic regulation.