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Jpn J Vet Res. 2007 Feb;54(4):183-9.

Leptin inhibits hepatocyte growth factor-induced ductal morphogenesis of bovine mammary epithelial cells.

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Laboratories of Biochemistry, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan.


We examined the effect of stroma-derived factors, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and leptin, on morphological differentiation of bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC) in collagen gel three-dimensional culture in vitro. BMEC treated with HGF, but not leptin, formed duct-like organoids. The formation of organoids by HGF was enhanced by treatment with a mixture of insulin, cortisol and prolactin, while BMEC treated with the mixture alone did not produce the organoid. In contrast, the formation of organoids by HGF was dose-dependently inhibited by simultaneous addition of leptin, regardless of the presence or absence of the hormone mixture. These results suggest that stroma-derived factors intricately regulate mammary epithelial morphogenesis.

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