IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 10 / DOI: 10.2741/2982

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Mammary epithelial stem and progenitor cells and the prolactin pathway
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1 Department of Biological Sciences and the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(10), 3940–3950; https://doi.org/10.2741/2982
Published: 1 May 2008
Abstract

Prolactin is a pleiotropic peptide hormone and cytokine that is secreted from the pituitary gland and locally within various tissues of the body for autocrine and paracrine signal transduction. It controls proliferation and differentiation in a number of body tissues and increasing evidence indicates that it controls these functions in undifferentiated stem and progenitor cells of adult tissues, such as mesenchymal stem cells, hematopoietic progenitors, neural stem cells, oligodendrocyte precursor cells and possibly in mammary gland stem/progenitor cells. These roles in these undifferentiated cell types also implicate prolactin in the stem cell theory of cancer, supporting its known roles in cancer formation and progression.

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