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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2009 Jul;115(3-5):161-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2009.04.001. Epub 2009 Apr 19.

Progesterone receptor A-regulated gene expression in mammary organoid cultures.

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Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, United States.


Progesterone, through the progesterone receptor (PR), promotes development of the normal mammary gland and is implicated in the etiology of breast cancer. We identified PRA-regulated genes by microarray analysis of cultured epithelial organoids derived from pubertal and adult mouse mammary glands, developmental stages with differing progesterone responsiveness. Microarray analysis showed significant progestin (R5020)-regulation of 162 genes in pubertal organoids and 104 genes in adult organoids, with 68 genes regulated at both developmental stages. Greater induction of receptor activator of NFkappaB ligand and calcitonin expression was observed in adult organoids, suggesting possible roles in the differential progesterone responsiveness of the adult and pubertal mammary glands. Analysis of the R5020-responsive transcriptome revealed several enriched biological processes including cell adhesion, immune response, and survival. R5020 both induced Agtr1 and potentiated angiotensin II-stimulated proliferation, highlighting the functional significance of the latter process. Striking up-regulation of genes involved in innate immunity processes included the leukocyte chemoattractants serum amyloid A1, 2 and 3 (Saa1, 2, 3). In vivo analysis revealed that progesterone treatment increased SAA1 protein expression and leukocyte density in mammary gland regions undergoing epithelial expansion. These studies reveal novel targets of PRA in mammary epithelial cells and novel linkages of progesterone action during mammary gland development.

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