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  • Poster Presentation
  • Open Access

Phenotypic characterization of mouse mammary epithelial stem and progenitor cells

  • 1, 2,
  • 2 and
  • 1
Breast Cancer Research20068 (Suppl 2) :P2

  • Published:


  • Breast Cancer
  • Mammary Gland
  • Gene Expression Profile
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Screening Program

Elucidation of the genes controlling the proliferation and differentiation of mouse mammary epithelial stem (MaSC) and progenitor (Ma-CFC) cells is paramount to understanding the processes that regulate mammary gland development and breast cancer progression. We have previously described a strategy in which MaSC and Ma-CFC can be purified to 5% and 15%, respectively, on the basis of lack of expression of the hematopoietic and endothelial markers CD45, Ter119 and CD31 and on the differential expression of CD24 and CD49f [1], with the MaSC having a CD24medCD49fhigh phenotype and the Ma-CFC having a CD24highCD49flow phenotype. Currently, a definitive analysis of the gene expression profiles of MaSC and Ma-CFC is not possible due to the presence of large numbers of contaminating cells in these enriched subpopulations. However, a preliminary microarray analysis of these subpopulations has identified potential new cell surface markers that can be exploited to further purify MaSC and Ma-CFC. We have initiated a screening program using the markers identified in the microarray analysis as well as markers used to identify other adult tissue stem cells to further purify and characterize MaSC and Ma-CFCs. Results of this screen will be presented.



This work is supported by Breast Cancer Campaign.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada


  1. Stingl J, Eirew P, Ricketson I, Shackletin M, Vaillant F, Choi D, Li HI, Eaves CJ: Purification and unique properties of mammary epithelial stem cells. Nature. 2006, 439: 993-997.PubMedGoogle Scholar


© BioMed Central Ltd 2006