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Bovine mammary stem cells studies – current status – a review

oanna Beata Bierła
Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Warsaw, Pawińskiego 3C, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland
Abstract :
Bovine mammary gland is a unique organ with regard to its frequently repeating cycles of growth
and involution throughout the life of an animal. In literature there is only scarce information
concerning development of its specific epithelium and in particular about the stem and progenitor
cells. Knowledge about this subject is essential in terms of further improvement of dairy cows
production capacity in the future. It may also provide an answer to the question concerning the lack
of carcinogenesic transformation in bovine mammary gland, as frequency of tumours in this tissue
equals zero. The morphological features of human mammary gland are more similar to those in
cattle than in rodents, commonly used for carcinogenetic studies. The results obtained on the bovine
model may also constitute a basis for understanding fundamentals of carcinogenesis in human
mammary gland.
To confirm the presence of mammary stem cells, many
in vitro
in vivo
studies were conducted
with the use of transplantation, electron microscopy, functional techniques, flow cytometry, scanning
cytometry and microarrays. Unfortunately, until now no universal molecular marker was found
which could make it easier to identify these cells. It has been suggested that the population of cells
, for which the lack of steroid receptors is characteristic, may indicate the stem cell
population. In our current studies it was found that in the mammary gland tissue, parallel to Sca-1
cells, a population of Sca-1
cells exists which might be of hematopoietic origin.
This non-epithelial lineage may enrich the stem/progenitor cell population in the mammary gland
facilitating mammary gland renewal.
Keywords :
ovine / mammary gland / Sca-1 / stem cells

Date Deposited : 01 Apr 2015 15:38

Last Modified : 01 Apr 2015 15:38

Official URL:

Volume 30, Number 3, - 2012

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