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Expression of ErbB receptors in the pre-pubertal and pubertal virgin mammary glands of dairy cows

  • Received : 2012.11.16
  • Accepted : 2012.11.26
  • Published : 2012.12.31

Abstract

In the present study, we investigated the expression patterns of ErbB family proteins in the pre-pubertal and pubertal mammary glands of dairy cows in association with gland development. For this study, we performed immunohistochemistry for ErbB-1-4 and Ki-67 cell proliferation marker. We found that the pre-pubertal and pubertal mammary glands had typical structures, including ducts and terminal end buds embedded in the stroma, and no development of lobuloalveolar structures. On immunohistochemistry, ErbB-2 and ErbB-3 were strongly expressed in the cytoplasm and nuclei in the epithelial cells of mammary ducts and terminal end buds, and stromal cells, whereas ErbB-1 and ErbB-4 were weakly expressed only in the cytoplasm of gland epithelium and stromal cells, irrespective of the developmental stage. Cell proliferation was inactive in the mammary gland cell compartments in both phases. Thus, expression of the ErbB family in the developing mammary glands was not associated with their functional effects, such as cell proliferation and lobuloalveolar development. In conclusion, ErbB receptors were differentially expressed in the epithelial and stromal cells of virgin mammary glands of dairy cows. Compared with rodent mammary glands, ErbB-3 and ErbB-4 were found to be highly expressed in bovine mammary glands.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Rural Development Administration

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