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Expression and functional properties of transforming growth factor alpha and epidermal growth factor during mouse mammary gland ductal morphogenesis



Expression and functional properties of transforming growth factor alpha and epidermal growth factor during mouse mammary gland ductal morphogenesis



Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 88(1): 276-280



Primer-directed enzyme amplification was used to examine epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor .alpha. (TGF-.alpha.) mRNA transcripts in mammary glands of young virgin, mature virgin, midpregnant, and midlactating mice. Transcripts for both EGF and TGF-.alpha. mRNA were detected in virgin and pregnant mice, whereas transcripts for EGF mRNA but not TGF-.alpha. mRNA were expressed in 10-day lactating mice. TGF-.alpha. was localized in the epithelial cap-cell layer of the advancing terminal end bud and in the stromal fibroblasts at the base of the terminal end bud; EGF was localized in the inner layers of the terminal end bud and in ductal cells of mammary epithelium. Implantation of pellets containing EGF or TFG-.alpha. into the regressed mammary gland of ovariectomized mice stimulated the reappearance of end buds; contralateral glands implanted with pellets containing albumin or insulin were not affected. These results indicate that an EGF-receptor-mediated pathway remained intact in the mammary gland epithelium in the absence of ovarian steroids and that local availability of either EGF or TGF-.alpha. is sufficient to stimulate the pattern of normal ductal growth. The detection of EGF and TGF-.alpha. transcripts at different stages of mammary gland development and the different patterns of immunolocalization suggest that each polypeptide plays a different role in normal mammary gland morphogenesis.

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Accession: 002105496

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 1986376

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.88.1.276



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