Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 293–304 | Cite as

The Role of Glucocorticoids in Secretory Activation and Milk Secretion, a Historical Perspective

Article

Abstract

In this review we present our current understanding of the role of glucocorticoids in secretory activation and milk secretion by looking at the literature from a historical perspective. We begin with the early endocrine ablation experiments and continue from there to show that glucocorticoids are not just necessary for secretory activation and milk secretion—but mandatory. Specifically, we discuss the importance of glucocorticoids to: (1) induce the formation of ultrastructural components necessary to support milk synthesis and secretion, including rough endoplasmic reticulum and tight junction sealing; (2) regulate milk protein gene expression; and (3) prevent the second phase of involution, possibly by preventing the breakdown of the extracellular matrix.

Keywords

Glucocorticoid Secretory activation Milk sythesis 

Abbreviations

ACTH

adrenocorticotropin

CRH

corticotropin releasing hormone

ECM

extracellular matrix

GR

glucocorticoid receptor

GRE

glucocorticoid response element

TF

transcription factor

NKκB

nuclear factor κB

AP-1

activating protein-1

CREB

CRE-binding protein

STAT5

signal transducer and activator of transcription 5

ADX

adrenalectomy

OVX

ovariectomy

Hyd

hydrocortisone

Ins

insulin

Prl

prolactin

RER

rough endoplasmic reticulum

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Anthony B290Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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