Laminin and β1 integrins are crucial for normal mammary gland development in the mouse

Teresa C M Klinowska, Jesus V. Soriano, Gwynneth M. Edwards, Janine M. Oliver, Anthony J. Valentijn, Roberto Montesano, Charles H. Streuli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We have examined the role of integrin-extracellular matrix interactions in the morphogenesis of ductal structures in vivo using the developing mouse mammary gland as a model. At puberty, ductal growth from terminal end buds results in an arborescent network that eventually fills the gland, whereupon the buds shrink in size and become mitotically inactive. End buds are surrounded by a basement membrane, which we show contains laminin-1 and collagen IV. To address the role of cell-matrix interactions in gland development, pellets containing function-perturbing anti-β1 integrin, anti- α6 integrin, and anti-laminin antibodies respectively were implanted into mammary glands at puberty. Blocking β1 integrins dramatically reduced both the number of end buds per gland and the extent of the mammary ductal network, compared with controls. These effects were specific to the end buds since the rest of the gland architecture remained intact. Reduced development was still apparent after 6 days, but end buds subsequently reappeared, indicating that the inhibition of β1 integrins was reversible. Similar results were obtained with anti-laminin antibodies. In contrast, no effect on morphogenesis in vivo was seen with anti-α6 integrin antibody, suggesting that α6 is not the important partner for β1 in this system. The studies with β1 integrin were confirmed in a culture model of ductal morphogenesis, where we show that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-induced tubulogenesis is dependent on functional β1 integrins. Thus integrins and HGF cooperate to regulate ductal morphogenesis. We propose that both laminin and β1 integrins are required to permit cellular traction through the stromal matrix and are therefore essential for maintaining end bud structure and function in normal pubertal mammary gland development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-32
    Number of pages19
    JournalDevelopmental Biology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1999


    • Extracellular matrix
    • Hepatocyte growth factor
    • Integrin
    • Laminin
    • Morphogenesis
    • Mouse mammary gland


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