The transforming growth factors beta in development and functional differentiation of the mouse mammary gland

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2001;501:61-70. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-1371-1_7.


The transforming growth factors beta (TGF-beta) are multifunctional regulators with diverse effects on a variety of developmental processes and differentiated functions. In the mammary gland, a considerable amount of evidence has accumulated indicating that TGF-beta plays a critical role during several phases of the mammary cycle. TGF-beta regulates growth and patterning of the mammary ductal tree in the virgin mouse. During pregnancy, TGF-beta is required for alveolar development and functional differentiation, while at the same time inhibiting secretion of milk proteins. At parturition this inhibition is lifted, permitting initiation of lactation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Lactation
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / growth & development*
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Pregnancy
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta