Jul 1, 1989

Epidermal growth factor precursor in mouse lactating mammary gland alveolar cells

Molecular Endocrinology
C F BrownR P DiAugustine


Previous studies have demonstrated that high levels of epidermal growth factor (EGF) occur in human and rodent milk and that oral administration of this polypeptide stimulates rodent gastrointestinal development. It is not known whether EGF in milk originates from cells of the lactating mammary gland or is sequestered from an extramammary source. In the present study, prepro-EGF mRNA (approximately 4.7 kilobases) was detected in the CD-1 mouse mammary gland throughout the period of lactation; by comparison, negligible levels of this EGF transcript were found in the gland during pregnancy. Low levels of EGF immunoreactivity (4-5 ng/g wet wt tissue) were extracted from lactating (day 18) mammary glands with dilute acetic acid. Immunolocalization was evident with antisera to either EGF or two other regions of the EGF precursor in essentially all alveolar cells of the lactating gland. The most prominent staining with antiserum to EGF was observed along the luminal borders of cells; this pattern of cellular staining required proteolytic pretreatment of tissue sections. Western blot analyses of cell membranes isolated from the day 16 lactating mammary gland revealed an EGF-immunoreactive band at about 145K, which was equivalent in si...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Immunoblotting, Reverse
Mouse Mammary Gland
Epidermal Growth Factor
Mammary Gland
Western Blotting
Immune Sera

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