Stat3 is required to maintain the full differentiation potential of mammary stem cells and the proliferative potential of mammary luminal progenitors

PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e52608. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052608. Epub 2012 Dec 20.


Stat3 has a defined role in mammary gland where it is a critical mediator of cell death during post-lactational regression. On the other hand, Stat3 is required for the self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and is sufficient for the induction of a naïve pluripotent state in epiblast stem cells. Mammary stem cells (MaSCs) have a high capacity for self-renewal and can grow robustly in transplantation experiments in vivo. However, a role for Stat3 in MaSCs has not been investigated. Here we show that depletion of Stat3 from basal cells results in reduced primary transplantation efficiency and diminishes the potential to generate ductal, but not alveolar, outgrowths. In addition, Stat3 is required for maximal proliferation of luminal progenitors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Phenotype
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • STAT3 Transcription Factor