Parathyroid hormone-related protein specifies the mammary mesenchyme and regulates embryonic mammary development

J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2013 Jun;18(2):171-7. doi: 10.1007/s10911-013-9283-7. Epub 2013 May 3.


Parathyroid Hormone related Protein (PTHrP) is a critical regulator of mammary gland morphogenesis in the mouse embryo. Loss of PTHrP, or its receptor, PTHR1, results in arrested mammary buds at day 15 of embryonic development (E15). In contrast, overexpression of PTHrP converts the ventral epidermis into hairless nipple skin. PTHrP signaling appears to be critical for mammary mesenchyme specification, which in turn maintains mammary epithelial identity, directs bud outgrowth, disrupts the male mammary rudiment and specifies the formation of the nipple. In the embryonic mammary bud, PTHrP exerts its effects on morphogenesis, in part, through epithelial-stromal crosstalk mediated by Wnt and BMP signaling. Recently, PTHLH has been identified as a strong candidate for a novel breast cancer susceptibility locus, although PTHrP's role in breast cancer has not been clearly defined. The effects of PTHrP on the growth of the embryonic mammary rudiment and its invasion into the dermis may, in turn, have connections to the role of PTHrP in breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / embryology*
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / metabolism
  • Mammary Glands, Human / embryology*
  • Mammary Glands, Human / metabolism
  • Mesoderm / embryology*
  • Mesoderm / metabolism
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein / metabolism*


  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein