Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 2, 2007
Publication Date: August 1, 2007
Citation: Akers, R.M., Capuco, A.V. 2007. Mammary Growth and Alveolar Secretory Cell Differentiation: Keys to Milk Production . Meeting Abstract.
Mammary growth and development is regulated by local and systemic endocrine and growth factor signaling. But signal strength is impacted by external stimuli. Effects may be immediate and short-lived, or long-term, depending upon the time when the stimulus is applied. Modulating events likely produce long term effects when applied during critical periods of mammary gland development. Subsequent responses may depend on epigenetic effects to change proliferation and differentiation of mammary stem cells. Thus lactation success depends on more than simply producing mammary parenchymal mass containing mature lobulo-alveolar structures. The secretory alveolar cells must achieve both biochemical and structural differentiation. Poor milk production corresponds with a relative differentiation failure in low milk production cattle. Thus there are two keys to maximization of lactation performance. Impairment of either mammary growth or differentiation of the secretory epithelium reduces lactation performance. An exciting, bewildering, universe of transcription factors, receptors, intracellular signaling intermediates, and extracellular molecules must ultimately interact to determine the mass of the mature mammary gland and the functional capacity.