Requirement of macrophages and eosinophils and their cytokines/chemokines for mammary gland development

Valérie Gouon-Evans, Elaine Y. Lin, Jeffrey W. Pollard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


Epithelial/mesenchymal cell interactions are necessary for proper ductal morphogenesis throughout all stages of mammary gland development. Besides the well-established stromal components, such as adipocytes and fibroblasts, the mammary stroma is also infiltrated with migrating blood cells, mostly macrophages and eosinophils. The focus of this review is on the role of macrophages and their growth factor colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) in promoting branching morphogenesis during postnatal mammary gland development through to lactation. The more restricted role of eosinophils and their chemoattractant eotaxin during pubertal ductal morphogenesis is also discussed. A possible interaction between macrophages and eosinophils in ductal morphogenesis is considered, along with the roles of other chemokines. This role of macrophages in normal development also appears to be subverted by tumors of the mammary gland to promote the escape of the tumor cells from the local environment and enhance their rate of metastasis. These data emphasize the dual role of macrophages in the promotion of epithelial growth in normal and cancer states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • CSF-1
  • Eosinophils
  • Eotaxin
  • Macrophages
  • Mammary glands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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