PTHrP is necessary for the formation of the embryonic mammary gland and, in its absence, the embryonic mammary bud fails to form the neonatal duct system. In addition, PTHrP is produced by the breast during lactation and contributes to the regulation of maternal calcium homeostasis during milk production. In this study, we examined the role of PTHrP during post-natal mammary development. Using a PTHrP-lacZ transgenic mouse, we surveyed the expression of PTHrP in the developing post-natal mouse mammary gland. We found that PTHrP expression is restricted to the basal cells of the gland during pubertal development and becomes expressed in milk secreting alveolar cells during pregnancy and lactation. Based on the previous findings that overexpression of PTHrP in cap and myoepithelial cells inhibited ductal elongation during puberty, we predicted that ablation of native PTHrP expression in the post-natal gland would result in accelerated ductal development. To address this hypothesis, we generated two conditional models of PTHrP-deficiency specifically targeted to the postnatal mammary gland. We used the MMTV-Cre transgene to ablate the floxed PTHrP gene in both luminal and myoepithelial cells and a tetracycline-regulated K14-tTA;tetO-Cre transgene to target PTHrP expression in just myoepithelial and cap cells. In both models of PTHrP ablation, we found that mammary development proceeds normally despite the absence of PTHrP. We conclude that PTHrP signaling is not required for normal ductal or alveolar development.
This document was originally published by PLOS ONE in PLOS ONE. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027278
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