Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 121–131

The Nipple: A Simple Intersection of Mammary Gland and Integument, but Focal Point of Organ Function

  • Sachiko Koyama
  • Hsin-Jung Wu
  • Teresa Easwaran
  • Sunil Thopady
  • John Foley
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10911-013-9289-1

Cite this article as:
Koyama, S., Wu, HJ., Easwaran, T. et al. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia (2013) 18: 121. doi:10.1007/s10911-013-9289-1
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Abstract

Having glands that secrete milk to nourish neonatal offspring characterizes all mammals. We provide a brief overview of the development and anatomy of nipples and mammary glands in monotremes, marsupials, and marine mammals, and focus on the nipples and mammary glands in terrestrial eutherian species. We first classify eutherians into three groups: the altricial, precocial, and arboreal types based on their rearing system. We then summarize the physiology of lactation and the cell biology of nipples with specific focus on comparing these in the mouse, cow, and human, which represent the three different groups. Finally we propose that the nipple is an example of specialized epidermis. As specialized epidermis, it is dependent the underlying stroma for development and maintenance in adult life. The development of the nipple and signaling pathways that regulate its formation are described.

Keywords

Nipple Areola Keratins Lactation Breast cancer 

Abbreviations

BMP

Bone morphogenic protein

BMPR1A

BMP receptor 1A

E

Embryonic day

K

Keratin

LGR7

Leucine rich repeat containing G-protein coupled receptor

MSX2

Msh homeobox 2

PTH

Parathyroid hormone

PTHrP

Parathyroid hormone-related protein

PTH1R

Parathyroid hormone/parathyroid hormone-related protein receptor

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sachiko Koyama
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hsin-Jung Wu
    • 1
  • Teresa Easwaran
    • 1
  • Sunil Thopady
    • 3
    • 4
  • John Foley
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Medical SciencesIndiana University School of MedicineBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  4. 4.Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic SurgeryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

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