The binding of orally dosed hydrophobic active pharmaceutical ingredients to casein micelles in milk

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Casein proteins (αS1-, αS2-, β- and κ-casein) account for 80% of the total protein content in bovine milk and form casein micelles (average diameter = 130 nm, approximately 1015 micelles/mL). The affinity of native casein micelles with the 3 hydrophobic active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), meloxicam [351.4 g/mol; log P = 3.43; acid dissociation constant (pKa) = 4.08], flunixin (296.2 g/mol; log P = 4.1; pKa = 5.82), and thiabendazole (201.2 g/mol; log P = 2.92; pKa = 4.64), was evaluated in bovine milk collected from dosed Holstein cows. Native casein micelles were separated from raw bovine milk by mild techniques such as ultracentrifugation, diafiltration, isoelectric point precipitation (pH 4.6), and size exclusion chromatography. Acetonitrile extraction of hydrophobic API was then done, followed by quantification using HPLC-UV. For the API or metabolites meloxicam, 5-hyroxy flunixin and 5-hydroxy thiabendazole, 31 ± 3.90, 31 ± 1.3, and 28 ± 0.5% of the content in milk was associated with casein micelles, respectively. Less than ∼5.0% of the recovered hydrophobic API were found in the milk fat fraction, and the remaining ∼65% were associated with the whey/serum fraction. A separate in vitro study showed that 66 ± 6.4% of meloxicam, 29 ± 0.58% of flunixin, 34 ± 0.21% of the metabolite 5-hyroxy flunixin, 50 ± 4.5% of thiabendazole, and 33 ± 3.8% of metabolite 5-hydroxy thiabendazole was found partitioned into casein micelles. Our study supports the hypothesis that casein micelles are native carriers for hydrophobic compounds in bovine milk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8670-8679
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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