Journal article

Mammary stem cells and the differentiation hierarchy: current status and perspectives

Jane E Visvader, John Stingl

Genes & Development | COLD SPRING HARBOR LAB PRESS, PUBLICATIONS DEPT | Published : 2014


The mammary epithelium is highly responsive to local and systemic signals, which orchestrate morphogenesis of the ductal tree during puberty and pregnancy. Based on transplantation and lineage tracing studies, a hierarchy of stem and progenitor cells has been shown to exist among the mammary epithelium. Lineage tracing has highlighted the existence of bipotent mammary stem cells (MaSCs) in situ as well as long-lived unipotent cells that drive morphogenesis and homeostasis of the ductal tree. Moreover, there is accumulating evidence for a heterogeneous MaSC compartment comprising fetal MaSCs, slow-cycling cells, and both long-term and short-term repopulating cells. In parallel, diverse lumina..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We are grateful to G. Lindeman for critical reading of the manuscript, and P. Maltezos for figure preparation. J.V. is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia Fellowship and thanks the NHMRC Independent Research Institutes Infrastructure Support Scheme (IRIISS), the Victorian State Government through Operational Infrastructure Support, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. J.S. acknowledges the support of The University of Cambridge, The Breast Cancer Campaign, Cancer Research UK, Hutchison Whampoa Limited, and National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.