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Prolactin regulates mammary epithelial cell proliferation via autocrine/paracrine mechanism


Prolactin (PRL) is essential for a number of developmental events in the mammary gland. Work with PRL and PRL receptor knockout mice has shown that PRL indirectly regulates ductal side branching during puberty and directly controls lobuloalveolar development and lactogenesis during pregnancy. Anterior pituitary or placental PRL is thought to be responsible for these functions via an endocrine mechanism; however, PRL is also produced in a number of extrapituitary sites including the mammary gland. The physiologic relevance of mammary PRL remains unknown. In this study we utilized mammary recombination in Rag1(-/-) hosts, to determine whether mammary PRL plays a role in the regulation of mammary gland development. Mammary glands formed with the PRL gene deleted from either the epithelium, stroma, or both displayed normal development, on the basis of whole mount and hematoxylin and eosin histology, during puberty and lactation. At the end of pregnancy, a 2.8-fold decrease in bromodeoxyuridine incorporation was observed in the epithelial cells of mammary glands formed using PRL knockout epithelium compared with those formed using wildtype epithelium. No balancing alteration in the rates of apoptosis was detected. Thus, mammary-derived PRL influences mammary epithelial cell proliferation via an autocrine/paracrine mechanism, establishing a physiologic function for mammary PRL during mammopoiesis.

Type Journal
ISBN 0969-711X (Print)
Authors Naylor, M. J.;Lockefeer, J. A.;Horseman, N. D.;Ormandy, C. J. :
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Chris Ormandy
Publisher Name ENDOCRINE
Published Date 2003-01-01
Published Volume 20
Published Issue 1-2
Published Pages 111-4
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version