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Pathologe. 2009 Feb;30(1):6-12. doi: 10.1007/s00292-008-1102-3.

[Anatomy of the breast].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Gerhard-Domagk-Institut für Pathologie, Domagk-Str. 17, 48159, Münster, Deutschland.


The human breast consists of lobes with a luminal glandular and a basal myoepithelial layer. Immunofluorescence studies have shown that the breast epithelium contains cytokeratin (CK)5/14-positive precursor cells which give rise to CK8/18-positive glandular or sm-actin-positive myoepithelial cells. Only some of the glandular cells contain estrogen receptors. The luminal epithelium of the lobules shows a much higher glandular differentiation than the ductal system. Diagnostically important cytokeratins of normal breast epithelium and its proliferative epithelial processes include luminal cytokeratins (CK7, CK8 and CK18) as markers of glandular differentiation and basal cytokeratins (CK5, CK14 and CK17) as markers of progenitor cells and early cells of the glandular and myoepithelial differentiation pathway. The most important myoepithelial markers are currently CD10, SMA, SMM-HC and Calponin.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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