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Mol Endocrinol. 1992 Feb;6(2):191-7.

Induction of lactogenesis in transgenic virgin pigs: evidence for gene and integration site-specific hormonal regulation.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry and Metabolism, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Five month-old transgenic female pigs from three lines carrying the mouse whey acidic protein (WAP) gene and nontransgenic female littermates were implanted with slow-release estrogen and progesterone pellets. Histological analysis of biopsies taken at the time of implantation and 4 weeks later revealed that mammary alveolar development had occurred upon hormonal stimulation in vivo. beta-Casein and beta-lactoglobulin mRNA was found in all induced animals, and WAP mRNA was detected in two of the three transgenic pigs. Differential hormonal regulation between the transgenes in the three lines and also between endogenous milk protein genes was observed in induced mammary tissue cultured in vitro. In the presence of insulin, hydrocortisone, and PRL, beta-casein and WAP mRNA levels increased in all transgenic pigs. In contrast, beta-lactoglobulin mRNA had reached or exceeded lactational levels in response to the in vivo induction, and no further increase was observed in vitro. This suggests that the regulation of the beta-lactoglobulin gene is distinct from that of beta-casein and WAP. Differences were also observed during pregnancy; whereas beta-lactoglobulin gene expression was induced in early pregnancy, a time when PRL levels are low, WAP mRNA levels increased sharply around parturition. Finally, the observation that hormonal regulation of WAP transgenes greatly differed between the three lines suggests that chromatin surrounding the integration site can modify the response of transcription elements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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