Mammary Epithelial Stem Cells

  • Brian W. Booth
  • Daniel Medina
  • Gilbert H. Smith
Chapter

Abstract

An entire mammary epithelial outgrowth, capable of full secretory differentiation, may comprise the progeny of a single stem cell. Experimental evidence has indicated three distinct mammary progenitor subtypes: unlimited progenitor cells, duct-limited progenitors, and lobule-limited progenitor cells. These different progenitor cell types drive the individual stages of mammary development taking direction from the surrounding microenvironment and systemic hormones. Mammary epithelial stem cells reside in basal positions, in contact with the basement membrane, but not in luminal positions throughout the mammary ductal tree. Stem cell morphology is characterized by the absence of cellular organelles resulting in their light or pale appearance in thin and ultrathin tissue sections. In recent years mammary stem and progenitor cells have been isolated based on the expression of cell surface markers, thus allowing increased study of these cells. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the experimental history of mammary stem cells and to address future areas and challenges for the investigation of these cells.

Keywords

Lactate Recombination Trypsin Luminal Progesterone 

Abbreviations

AR

Amphiregulin

DLLC

Differentiating large light cells

ER

Estrogen receptor

MMTV

Mouse mammary tumor virus promoter

MRU

Mammary repopulating unit

PI-MEC

Parity-identified mammary epithelial cells

PR

Progesterone receptor

SLC

Small light cells

TDLU

Terminal ductal lobule unit

ULLC

Undifferentiated large light cells

WAP

Whey acidic protein promoter

Notes

Acknowledgment

Figure 3 was illustrated by Eve E. Kingsley Booth.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian W. Booth
    • 1
  • Daniel Medina
    • 2
  • Gilbert H. Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Rhodes Engineering Research Center, Institute for Biological Interfaces of EngineeringClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Cell and Cancer BiologyNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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