Pregnancy and stem cell behavior

Kay Uwe Wagner, Gilbert H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The identification of cancer-initiating epithelial subtypes (i.e. cancer stem cells) is important for gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the process of neoplastic transformation and tumorigenesis. Since reproductive history has a major impact on breast tumorigenesis, it is reasonable to assume that pregnancy and lactation have enduring effects on the cancer susceptibility of multipotent progenitors. Using the Cre-lox technology as a tool to genetically label pregnancy-hormone-responsive cells, we identified a mammary epithelial subtype that is abundant in parous females. These pregnancy-induced mammary epithelial cells (PI-MECs) originate from differentiating cells during the first pregnancy and lactation cycle. They do not undergo apoptosis during postlactational remodeling, and they persist throughout the remainder of a female's life. In this review, we discuss the biological relevance of PI-MECs in multiparous females and their important stem cell-like features, such as self renewal, as well as their ability to produce progeny with diverse cellular fates. Using appropriate animal models, we further demonstrate that PI-MECs are cellular targets for pregnancy-enhanced mammary tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of mammary gland biology and neoplasia
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Fingerprint

Stem Cells
Breast
Pregnancy
Carcinogenesis
Epithelial Cells
Lactation
Neoplastic Processes
Reproductive History
Neoplastic Stem Cells
Neoplasms
Animal Models
Hormones
Apoptosis
Technology

Keywords

  • Cre recombinase
  • Differentiation
  • ErbB2
  • MMTV
  • Mammary gland
  • Parity-induced mammary epithelial cells
  • Stem cells
  • Tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Pregnancy and stem cell behavior. / Wagner, Kay Uwe; Smith, Gilbert H.

In: Journal of mammary gland biology and neoplasia, Vol. 10, No. 1, 01.01.2005, p. 25-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Wagner, Kay Uwe ; Smith, Gilbert H. / Pregnancy and stem cell behavior. In: Journal of mammary gland biology and neoplasia. 2005 ; Vol. 10, No. 1. pp. 25-36.
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