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J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2009 Sep;14(3):193-7. doi: 10.1007/s10911-009-9151-7.

Classic studies of mammary development and milk secretion: 1945 - 1980.

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CU Denver School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


On June 20, 1947 a meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine in London was entitled "Discussion on Some Recent Developments in Knowledge of the Physiology of the Breast". The major questions outlined by the speakers were: how does the structure of the breast change with reproductive stage? What is the role of the basal cell layer in the mammary epithelium? How is milk composition related to diet? And what is the basic physiology of milk secretion including its hormonal regulation? All these questions were attacked vigorously in laboratories mostly in England and the United States, but researchers in France, Germany, and Austria also weighed in. Our purpose in this edition of the Journal is to show, through the presentation of seminal papers and key references, how the research of that period, prior to the molecular revolution of the last three decades, laid the groundwork for our current understanding of the morphology, developmental biology, and physiology of the functional mammary gland. This knowledge provides the groundwork for our current research into the molecular mechanisms involved in milk secretion and its regulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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