We have recently demonstrated the regulated expression of HGF/SF and its receptor (c-met) during mouse mammary gland development together with the mitogenic, motogenic and morphogenic effects of exogenous HGF/SF on primary mammary epithelial cells in culture. This study was undertaken to analyze the influence of HGF/SF on reconstituted mouse mammary gland development in vivo. Here we report that overexpression of HGF/SF induces a range of alterations in the architecture of virgin mouse mammary gland. These include an enhancement of ductal end bud (mammary gland morphoregulatory control point) size and numbers and hyperplastic branching morphogenesis. These data are the first demonstration of the effects of HGF/SF on mammary epithelium in vivo.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.