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Mammary stem cell repertoire: New insights in aging epithelial populations

, : Mammary stem cell repertoire: New insights in aging epithelial populations. Mechanisms of Ageing & Development 123(11): 1505-1519, September

The proliferative lifespan of mammary stem cells was examined in serially transplanted clonal-dominant epithelial populations. Five successive transplant generations were done. The epithelial cell number in each outgrowth expands approximately 500-fold in nulliparous hosts and approximately 10000-fold in impregnated hosts. Despite this, all resulting mammary outgrowths showed lineal identity with the original. Growth senescence was observed in some implants beginning at the third generation in impregnated recipients. The ability of an individual implant to support ductal morphogenesis and also secretory lobule development decayed at independent rates. Individual implants from a single clonal-dominant outgrowth occasionally gave rise to markedly different ductal development within the same host indicating an epithelial cell autonomous mechanism in ductal patterning. Both premalignant and malignant populations appeared focally within the aging transplants. These populations were also lineally related to the original outgrowth supporting the conclusion that the primary growth was derived clonally from one or a few lineally related antecedents. The premalignant and malignant descendant populations no longer exhibit growth senescence suggesting that they are supported by a perpetually self-renewing progenitor. Our evidence indicates that a single mammary cell may have the capacity to self-renew through five transplant generations. Even some sixth generation implants show vigorous growth.


PMID: 12425957

DOI: 10.1016/s0047-6374(02)00114-8

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