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Mouse TGF-alpha gene expression in normal and neoplastic mammary glands and uteri of four strains of mice with different potentials for mammary gland growth and uterine adenomyosis



Mouse TGF-alpha gene expression in normal and neoplastic mammary glands and uteri of four strains of mice with different potentials for mammary gland growth and uterine adenomyosis



Zoological Science 11(6): 841-846



The expression of TGF-alpha mRNA and the protein localization in the mammary glands were determined by RT-PCR and immunohistochemical staining methods, respectively, in four strains of mice (SHN, SLN, GR/A and C3H/He), which had different potentials for normal and neoplastic mammary gland growth and uterine adenomyosis. TGF-alpha gene expression was detected in some virgin and pregnant mammary glands of 4 strains and in all lactating glands of SHN, GR/A and C3H/He mice, but not in SLN. The results of immunohistochemical staining of pregnant and lactating mammary glands corresponded well with those of RT-PCR in all strains except SLN. These suggest that there is a strain-related difference in the pattern of TGF-alpha gene expression during the reproductive states. Meanwhile, little difference was observed among strains in TGF-alpha gene expression after retirement; in retired mammary glands, some samples expressed TGF-alpha mRNA and all samples were stained positively in 4 strains. All samples of mammary tumors showed both TGF-alpha mRNA expression and immunohistochemically positive staining. Neither RT-PCR nor immunohistochemical staining showed positive results in uterus in all strains except one sample in GR/A. All findings in this study indicate that TGF-alpha expression itself is not always directly related to the potentials for normal and neoplastic mammary gland growth and uterine adenomyosis in mice. In all strains, several different sizes of PCR products were observed besides the predicted size of product in mammary tumors and lactating and/or retired mammary glands. These suggest that mammary glands may possess sooner or later neoplastic characteristics that include an over expression of TGF-alpha during and after reproductive states.

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