Differential roles of ERα and ERβ in normal and neoplastic development in the mouse mammary gland.
Journal: PLoS One
Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): CADRG
PubMed ID: 25405629
PMC ID: PMC4236140
Abstract: The present experiments were performed to determine the roles of estrogen receptors α and β (ERα and ERβ) in normal and neoplastic development in the mouse mammary gland. In wild-type mice, in vivo administration of estradiol (E) + progesterone (P) stimulated mammary ductal growth and alveolar differentiation. Mammary glands from mice in which the ERβ gene has been deleted (βERKO mice) demonstrated normal ductal growth and differentiation in response to E + P. By contrast, mammary glands from mice in which the ERα gene has been deleted (αERKO mice) demonstrated only rudimentary ductal structures that did not differentiate in response to E + P. EGF demonstrates estrogen-like activity in the mammary glands of αERKO mice: treatment of αERKO mice with EGF + P (without E) supported normal mammary gland development, induced expression of progesterone receptor (PR), and increased levels of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPR30) protein. Mammary gland development in βERKO mice treated with EGF + P was comparable to that of wild-type mice receiving EGF + P; EGF had no statistically significant effects on the induction of PR or expression of GPR30 in mammary glands harvested from either wild-type mice or βERKO mice. In vitro exposure of mammary glands to 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) induced preneoplastic mammary alveolar lesions (MAL) in glands from wild-type mice and βERKO mice, but failed to induce MAL in mammary glands from αERKO mice. Microarray analysis of DMBA-treated mammary glands identified 28 functional pathways whose expression was significantly different in αERKO mice versus both βERKO and wild-type mice; key functions that were differentially expressed in αERKO mice included cell division, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. The data demonstrate distinct roles for ERα and ERβ in normal and neoplastic development in the mouse mammary gland, and suggest that EGF can mimic the ERα-mediated effects of E in this organ.