Research Article| Volume 23, ISSUE 2, P115-122, January 15, 1988

Download started.


Reduced beta-casein levels in milk samples from patients with postpartum psychosis

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      Defatted breast milk from women with postpartum psychosis and from healthy lactating women was analyzed by high-resolution gel permeation chromatography as well as by sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The gel permeation procedure allowed quantitative analysis of milk proteins (including betacasein) with minute amounts of defatted milk (10–15 μl). By electrophoresis, further characterization of the protein pattern, including the beta-casein fraction, was obtained. Milk samples from five control and seven psychotic subjects were analyzed. The concentration of the beta-casein-containing peak was significantly lower in milk samples from the psychotic group by both chromatography and electrophoresis. These lower levels of beta-casein may result from a higher rate of enzymatic degradation generating i.a. peptides with opioid activity, as shown earlier in plasma and CSF of women with postpartum psychosis.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Åsberg M
        • Montgomery SA
        • Perris C
        • Schalling D
        • Sedvall G
        The CPRS: Development and applications of a psychiatric rating scale.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 1978; 58: 271
        • Brantl V
        Novel opioid peptides derived from human beta-casein: Human beta-casomorphins.
        Eur J Pharmacol. 1984; 106: 213
        • Brantl V
        • Teschemacher H
        Opioids in milk.
        Trend Pharmacol Sci. 1983; 4: 193
        • Greenberg R
        • Groves ML
        • Dower HJ
        Human beta-casein: Amino acid sequence and identification of phosphorylation sites.
        J Biol Chem. 1984; 259: 5132
        • Koch G
        • Wiedemann K
        • Zimmermann W
        Human β-casomorphin-8 immunoreactive materials in the plasma of nursing mothers.
        Naunyn-Schmiedeberg Arch Pharmacol. 1986; 332: R85
        • Lindström LH
        • Widerlöv E
        • Gunne LM
        • Wahlström A
        • Terenius L
        Endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid: Clinical correlations to some psychotic states.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1978; 57: 153
        • Lindström LH
        • Nyberg F
        • Terenius L
        • Bauer K
        • Besev G
        • Gunne LM
        • Lyrenäs S
        • Willdeck-Lund G
        • Lindberg B
        CSF and plasma beta-casomorphin-like opioid peptides in postpartum psychosis.
        Am J Psychiatry. 1984; 141: 1059
        • Neville DM
        Molecular weight determination of protein-dodecyl sulfate complexes by gel electrophoresis in a discontinuous buffer system.
        J Biol Chem. 1971; 246: 6328
        • Nyberg F
        • Roos P
        • Wide L
        Human pituitary prolactin: Isolation and characterization of three isohormones with different bioassay and radioimmunoassay activities.
        Biochim Biophys Acta. 1980; 625: 255
        • Paffenberger RS
        Epidemiological aspects of parapartum mental illness.
        Br J Prev Soc Med. 1964; 18: 189
        • Roos P
        • Nyberg F
        • Wide L
        Isolation of human pituitary prolactin.
        Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979; 588: 368
      1. Sandler M Mental Illness in Pregnancy and Puerperium. Oxford University Press, Oxford1978
        • Tetlow C
        Psychoses of childbearing.
        J Ment Sci. 1955; 101: 629
        • Thompson MP
        • Kiddy CA
        • Johnston JO
        • Weinberg RM
        Genetic polymorphism in caseins of cows' milk. II. Confirmation of the genetic control of β-casein variation.
        J Dairy Sci. 1964; 47: 378
        • Voglino GF
        • Caone M
        • Ponzone A
        A new β-casein variant in human milk.
        Biomedicine. 1975; 23: 343
        • Yamauchi K
        • Azuma N
        • Shimizu M
        Comparison of casein of cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) with human casein.
        Comp Biochem Physiol. 1983; 75: 287