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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jan 2;378(1):99-102. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.11.004. Epub 2008 Nov 10.

Mammary gland involution is associated with rapid down regulation of major mammary Ca2+-ATPases.

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  • 1Periparturient Diseases of Cattle Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service/USDA, National Animal Disease Center, 2300 Dayton Ave., Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Sixty percent of calcium in milk is transported across the mammary cells apical membrane by the plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase 2 (PMCA2). The effect of abrupt cessation of milk production on the Ca(2+)-ATPases and mammary calcium transport is unknown. We found that 24 h after stopping milk production, PMCA2 and secretory pathway Ca(2+)-ATPases 1 and 2 (SPCA1 and 2) expression decreased 80-95%. PMCA4 and Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase 2 (SERCA2) expression increased with the loss of PMCA2, SPCA1, and SPCA2 but did not increase until 72-96 h of involution. The rapid loss of these Ca(2+)-ATPases occurs at a time of high mammary tissue calcium. These results suggest that the abrupt loss of Ca(2+)-ATPases, required by the mammary gland to regulate the large amount of calcium associated with milk production, could lead to accumulation of cell calcium, mitochondria Ca(2+) overload, calcium mediated cell death and thus play a part in early signaling of mammary involution.

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