Mammary gland development and tumorigenesis in estrogen receptor knockout mice

J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 1997 Oct;2(4):323-34. doi: 10.1023/a:1026339111278.


Estrogens are important for the development of the mammary gland and strongly associated with oncogenesis in this tissue. The biological effects of estrogens are mediated through the estrogen receptor (ER), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. The estrogen/ER signaling pathway plays a central role in mammary gland development, regulating the expression and activity of other growth factors and their receptors. The generation of the ER knockout (ERKO) mouse has made it possible to directly understand the contribution of ER in mammary development and has provided an unique opportunity to study estrogen action in carcinogenesis. A mammary oncogene (Wnt-1) was introduced into the ERKO background to determine if the absence of the ER would affect the development of tumors induced by oncogenic stimulation. The development, hyperplasia, and tumorigenesis in mammary glands from the ERKO/Wnt-1 mouse line are described. These studies provide the impetus to evaluate the effect of other oncogenes in mammary tumorigenesis in the absence of estrogen/ER signaling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / embryology*
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / pathology
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / physiology*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / etiology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / deficiency
  • Receptors, Estrogen / genetics*


  • Receptors, Estrogen