Reconstitution assays have shown that mouse mammary stem cells reside within the mature mammary gland in vivo. Single cells could be prospectively isolated and shown to regenerate an entire mammary gland that exhibited full developmental capacity. The more recent identification of luminal progenitor populations has indicated that the mammary epithelium is organized in a hierarchical manner. Further definition of epithelial cell types in both mouse and human mammary glands will provide insight into the "cells of origin" in the different subtypes of breast cancer, as well as the nature of cancer-propagating cells. Here, we review the known characteristics of mammary stem and progenitor cells, their steroid receptor status, and the pathways that have thus far been implicated in regulating their self-renewal and differentiation.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2008|