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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2002 Feb;80(2):137-48.

Cellular expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors in mammary glands: regulation by hormones, development and aging.

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Division of Life Sciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


At present, there is an extensive body of literature documenting the participation of estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) in mammary gene expression. Yet, the precise roles of these receptors in regulating mammary development, carcinogenesis and the growth of a subset of tumors still remain unclear. Mammary glands are composed of various cell types with different developmental potentials. Further, ultimately, that it is their mutual interactions which dictate the behavior of mammary epithelial cells. Therefore, to resolve the roles of ER and PR in normal mammary growth, differentiation and carcinogenesis, analyses for the expression of these receptors at the level of individual cell types is of paramount importance. Accordingly, in the present studies using immunolocalization techniques, we document the ontogeny and cellular distribution of ER and PR during mammary development and in response to ovarian hormones and aging. In addition, we discuss the potential biological significances of the expression patterns of ER and PR during various physiological states. We believe that the observations reported here should provide a conceptual framework(s) for elucidating the roles of ER and PR in normal and neoplastic mammary tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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