Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Amphiregulin (Ar) and Cripto-1 (Cr-1) are growth promoting peptides that share amino acid sequence homology with epidermal growth factor (EGF). The present study examined Ar and Cr-1 mRNA and protein expression during various stages of C57BL/6 mouse mammary morphogenesis. Reverse transciption-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to detect transcripts for Ar and Cr-1 at all stages of mammary development. Immunocytochemical (ICC) localization demonstrated that in virgin 4-week to mature 12-week-old mouse fourth inguinal mammary gland, Ar and Cr-1 are expressed in the stromal cells, luminal epithelial cells, and myoepithelial cells of the branching ducts. Ar, and to lesser extent Cr-1, were also found in the epithelial cap cells and in the luminal epithelial cells of the advancing terminal end bud (TEB) from virgin 4-week and 6-week-old mice. Western blot analysis demonstrated that both Ar (28 and 26 kDa) and Cr-1 (90, 67, 56, and 21 kDa) proteins are expressed in virgin, 13.5 day midpregnant and in the 14 day lactating mammary gland. In addition, Ar and Cr-1 are associated with developing alveolar structures as determined by ICC. These results imply that together with EGF and transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα), Ar and Cr-1 may play salient roles as modifiers in the morphogenesis and differentiation of the mammary gland. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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