Lonza’s human mammary epithelial cells in breast cancer research and organoid formation studies:
Mammary gland epithelium develops tumors at primarily 3 major sites- ducts, terminal ducts and lobules. This tumor development is a result of a combination of hormonal, environmental agents, diet and genetic factors.
Lonza’s normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) have been utilized by our customers in various applications:
- Cancer development – Introduction of oncogenes to validate if cells will develop cancer
- Ideal controls – To get comprehensive data, HMECs are used as side-by-side controls with commonly used immortalized cell lines
- Organoid formation or tissue regeneration – HMECs have supported studies where mammary epithelial cells are grown in different 3D scaffolds to understand and optimize the regeneration process
Mammary Gland Development:
mammary gland is located in the breasts and is responsible for lactation, or
the production of milk. The gland development is a multistage process that
undergoes morphological changes through puberty, pregnancy, lactation and
puberty, estrogen induces the ductal cells to proliferate and form branch-like
structures. The next phase of mammary gland development occurs post-ovulation
when progesterone causes the terminal ductal cells to differentiate into the
milk-producing cells called alveoli. Once the lactation phase hits, the
secretion of milk is induced by the hormone prolactin. At the end of lactation
phase, the mammary glands and areolae return to their pre-pregnancy state and
post-menopause the glands are largely replaced by connective tissue and fat.
A schematic overview of
postnatal mammary gland development in the mouse. Image courtesy of Hughes K,
Watson CJ. The spectrum of STAT functions in mammary gland development. JAK-STAT. 2012;1(3):151-158. doi:10.4161/jkst.19691.