Remodeling of Murine Mammary Adipose Tissue during Pregnancy, Lactation, and Involution

  • Qiong A. WangEmail author
  • Philipp E. SchererEmail author


White adipocytes in the mammary gland stroma comprise the majority of the mammary gland mass. White adipocytes regulate numerous hormonal and metabolic processes and exhibit compositional and phenotypic plasticity. This plasticity is exemplified by the ability of mammary adipocytes to regress during lactation, when mammary epithelial cells expand to establish sufficient milk-producing alveoli. Upon weaning, the process reverses through mammary involution, during which adipocytes extensively regenerate, and alveolar epithelial cells disappear through cell death, returning the mammary gland to the non-lactating state. Despite intensive studies on the development and involution of the mammary alveolar epithelium, the fate of mammary adipocytes during pregnancy and lactation, and the origins of mammary adipocytes regenerated during mammary involution, is poorly understood. Here, we discuss the recent discoveries of the fate of mammary adipocytes during pregnancy and lactation in a number of different mouse models, and the lineage origin of mammary adipocytes regenerated during involution.


Adipocyte Mammary gland Lactation Involution Remodeling Dedifferentiation Obesity Breast Cancer 



P.E.S. is supported by US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants R01-DK55758, P01-DK088761, R01-DK099110, RC2-DK118620, and P01-AG051459 and by an unrestricted grant from the Novo Nordisk Research Foundation. Q.A.W. is supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants R56-AG063854 and R03-HD095414, American Diabetes Association Junior Faculty Development Award 1-19-JDF-023, as well as City of Hope Shared Resources Pilot Award and Caltech–City of Hope Initiative Award.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular & Cellular EndocrinologyDiabetes and Metabolism Research Institute, City of HopeDuarteUSA
  2. 2.Comprehensive Cancer Center, Beckman Research InstituteCity of HopeDuarteUSA
  3. 3.Touchstone Diabetes CenterUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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