Hormonal requirements for basement membrane collagen deposition by cultured rat mammary epithelium

L. A. Liotta, M. S. Wicha, J. M. Foidart, S. I. Rennard, S. Garbisa, W. R. Kidwell

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81 Scopus citations


Alveoli and ducts isolated from virgin rat mammary glands synthesize basement membrane collagen (type IV) in primary culture. Using purified antibodies to type IV collagen, prominent intracellular and extracellular fluorescence is observed in the epithelium. No fluorescence is observed with antibodies to collagen type I and III. From quantitation of the incorporation of labeled proline into hydroxyproline and the estimation of the fraction of collagenase-sensitive [ 14C]proline-labeled proteins, 1.5 to 2.5% of the newly synthesized proteins are collagen. Type IV collagen from these cultures was biochemically identified on the basis of (1) the high ratio of labeled 3-hydroxyproline to 4-hydroxyproline (1:10), (2) the gel electrophoretic pattern of the collagenase-sensitive proteins precipitated with 1.7 M NaCl, (3) the failure of the collagen to bind to diethylaminoethyl-cellulose, and (4) the immunologic cross-reactivity with mouse tumor type IV collagen. The apparent molecular weight of the mammary type IV collagen chain doublet (175,000) is identical with that of type IV collagen from other sources. When the supportive hormones, insulin, prolactin, hydrocortisone, progesterone, and estradiol are removed from the cultures, there is a 90% drop in the growth rate and a 20% drop in total protein synthesis of the cells over the 24-hour period without hormones. Pulse-chase experiments revealed an enhanced turnover of collagen following hormone withdrawal. This system may be an in vitro model of collagen turnover in mammary gland in involution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-518
Number of pages8
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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