Differences in oligosaccharide pattern of a sample of polar bear colostrum and mid-lactation milk

Tadasu Urashima, Hiromi Nagata, Tadashi Nakamura, Ikichi Arai, Tadao Saito, Koji Imazu, Teruaki Hayashi, Andrew E. Derocher, Oystein Wiig

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Although the concentrations of carbohydrate in the colostrum and in the mid-lactation milk of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) were similar, the oligosaccharide patterns differed. The colostrum sample contained Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (3′-N-acetylneuraminyllactose), GalNAc(α1-3)[Fuc(α1-2)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (A-tetrasaccharide), Fuc(α1-2)Gal(β1-4)Glc (2′-fucosyllactose) and Gal(β1-4) Glc (lactose). The mid-lactation milk contained Gal(α1-3)[Fuc(α1-2)] Gal(β1-4)[Fuc(α1-3)]Glc (B-pentasaccharide), GalNAc(α1-3) [Fuc(α1-2)]Gal(β1-4)[Fuc(α1-3)]Glc (A-pentasaccharide), Gal(α1-3)[Fuc(α1-2)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (B-tetrasaccharide), A-tetrasaccharide, Gal(α1-3)Gal(β1-4)[Fuc(α1-3)]Glc (3-fucosylisoglobotriose), Gal(α1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (isoglobotriose) and lactose. The dominant saccharides in the colostrum were 3′-N- Acetylneuraminyllactose and lactose, whereas isoglobotriose was the dominant saccharide in the mid-lactation milk in which lactose was only a minor component. Isoglobotriose, which had previously been found to be a dominant saccharide in mature milk from the Ezo brown bear, the Japanese black bear and the polar bear, was not found in the polar bear colostrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-896
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Colostrum
  • Isoglobotriose
  • Lactation
  • Milk composition
  • Milk oligosaccharides
  • Polar bear
  • Ursus maritimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology


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