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Differentiation. 1994 Sep;57(3):205-14.

Developmental and hormonal regulation of Wnt gene expression in the mouse mammary gland.

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1
Institute of Cancer Research, Haddow Laboratories, Sutton, Surrey, UK.

Abstract

Ectopic expression of Wnt-1 in the mammary epithelium causes hyperplasias and increases the frequency of tumour formation. Other members of the Wnt gene family are naturally expressed in the breast and are thought to be involved in controlling mammary gland development. Using Northern and in-situ hybridisation, differential expression of Wnt-2, Wnt-4, Wnt-5a, Wnt-5b, Wnt-6 and Wnt-7b in epithelial and mesenchymal compartments was observed. Complex patterns of Wnt expression were found during the ductal, lobulo-alveolar and involution phases of development. Finally, Wnt-2, Wnt-4 and Wnt-5b were shown to be regulated by ovarian hormones. These results suggest that Wnt genes have non-redundant roles in breast development and may be involved in the hormonal regulation of mammary growth.

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