The comparative pathology of human and mouse mammary glands.

Robert Cardiff, S. R. Wellings

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


The mouse has emerged as a primary animal model for human breast cancer because the mammary glands of the two species are very similar in structure and function. In this regard the TDLU and LA have similar morphology. The mouse, infected by MMTV, develops "spontaneous" tumors with specific but limited tumor phenotypes. The advent of genetic manipulation has created transgenic mice that develop hyperplasias and tumors morphologically and cytochemically comparable to lesions in humans. Even experienced pathologists have difficulty distinguishing between lesions from the two species, and the morphological similarities support the utility of the mouse model in understanding human breast cancer. In this essay we review our experience with the histopathology of human and mouse mammary disease by comparing the normal gland with hyperplastic, dysplastic and neoplastic lesions of traditional and transgenic origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-122
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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