Signaling pathways in mammary gland development

Dev Cell. 2001 Oct;1(4):467-75. doi: 10.1016/s1534-5807(01)00064-8.


Unlike most other organs, development of the mammary gland occurs predominantly after birth, under the control of steroid and peptide hormones. Once the gland is established, cycles of proliferation, functional differentiation, and death of alveolar epithelium occur repeatedly with each pregnancy. Although it is unique in this respect, the signaling pathways utilized by the gland are shared with other cell types, and have been tailored to meet the needs of this secretory tissue. Here we discuss the signaling pathways that have been adopted by the mammary gland for its own purposes, and the functions they perform.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast / cytology
  • Breast / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / cytology
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / growth & development*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*