Delineating the epithelial hierarchy in the mouse mammary gland

M. L. Asselin-Labat, F. Vaillant, M. Shackleton, T. Bouras, G. J. Lindeman, J. E. Visvader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Reconstitution assays have shown that mouse mammary stem cells reside within the mature mammary gland in vivo. Single cells could be prospectively isolated and shown to regenerate an entire mammary gland that exhibited full developmental capacity. The more recent identification of luminal progenitor populations has indicated that the mammary epithelium is organized in a hierarchical manner. Further definition of epithelial cell types in both mouse and human mammary glands will provide insight into the "cells of origin" in the different subtypes of breast cancer, as well as the nature of cancer-propagating cells. Here, we review the known characteristics of mammary stem and progenitor cells, their steroid receptor status, and the pathways that have thus far been implicated in regulating their self-renewal and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages10
JournalCold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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