Xenobiotic Transport across the Mammary Epithelium
There is grave concern about the effect that drugs and chemicals in milk or milk substitutes might have on children. However, little is known about how drugs and other chemicals, to which a mother or milk-producing cow may be exposed, appear in their milk. As a result, we frequently do not know what to recommend to nursing mothers who require medical treatment whilst nursing. We also cannot accurately assess the risk presented to a consumer by a cow that has been exposed to environmental toxins.
In our research, we use mammary epithelial cells to study how drugs, toxins and chemicals pass from blood to milk. Experiment results, together with mathematical models, will allow us to predict resultant drug concentrations in the milk. We are also studying how the transfer of drugs from blood to milk might be altered to reduce the risk of harmful milk production.