Intestinal Effects of Milkborne Growth Factors in Neonates of Agricultural Importance

Jack Odle, Ruurd T. Zijlstra, Sharon M. Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reduction of postnatal morbidity and mortality of mammalian neonates poses a significant challenge to agricultural and medical sciences. Because nutritional insufficiency and diarrhea represent major stressors, an understanding of factors mediating postnatal growth and development of the gastrointestinal tract is essential. This review explores the role that milkborne growth factors may play in stimulating functional development of the neonatal intestine, with emphasis on the porcine, bovine, and ovine species. Studies reporting milk concentrations and intestinal effects are reviewed, with emphasis on epidermal growth factor, insulin, and the insulin-like growth factors. Collectively, these studies suggest that milkborne growth factors may provide important regulatory signals to the neonatal intestine under both normal and pathophysiological states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2509-2522
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor
  • Intestine
  • Milk
  • Neonates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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