Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) is a stroma-derived mitogen mediating epithelial-stromal interactions. We investigated the role of KGF during epithelial-stromal interactions accompanying ruminant mammogenesis. Target-specificity of KGF was demonstrated in that KGF-stimulated proliferation of bovine mammary epithelial, but not ovine mammary stromal cells. Consistent with a paracrine function, 4.6, 2.4, 1.5 and 0.9 kb mRNA transcripts were expressed by bovine stromal, but not epithelial cells. Within the ovine mammary gland, 2.4 and 1.5 kb KGF mRNAs were expressed in the fat pad while only the 2.4 kb transcript was transcribed in parenchyma. The abundance of KGF mRNA was greater in the extra-parenchymal fat pad than in the contralateral epithelium-free fat pad prior to puberty, and was less in parenchyma than in the intact or epithelium-free fat pads. Ovariectomy tended to increase KGF transcription while estrogen reduced expression. Of several tissues, mammary parenchyma expressed a 2.4 kb mRNA while adipose tissues expressed a 1.5 kb transcript. These results demonstrate local and systemic regulation of KGF transcription and support a paracrine role for KGF during ruminant mammogenesis.
- Fat pad
- Keratinocyte growth factor
- Ovarian hormones
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism