A Role for the Extracellular Matrix in Autocrine and Paracrine Regulation of Tissue-Specific Functions

  • M. H. Barcellos-Hoff
  • M. J. Bissell
Part of the Reproductive Biology book series (RBIO)


How can the knowledge gained in characterizing a functional epithelial cell model in culture shed light on the autocrine and paracrine mechanisms of gene regulation? Our purpose in presenting the following brief description of mammary epithelial cell culture is two-fold. First, to suggest that functional cells should be prerequisite for studying the effects and relationships between the cell and the multitude of growth factors and hormones that interact with tissues. Second, to emphasize the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in obtaining the “correct” functional phenotype for epithelial cells in culture. These aims are by no means all inclusive. There are many new and interesting reports of the effects of growth factors in mammary gland that we will not discuss in detail here, including exciting research that addresses how ECM and soluble factors interact in vivo. For example, the recent results indicating that transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) acts as a negative regulator of ductal growth in virgin gland (Silbertstein and Daniel, 1987) may involve the ECM, since TGF-β appears to be intimately involved in synthesis and degradation of ECM molecules (Sporn et al., 1987).


Mammary Gland Mammary Epithelial Cell Basal Lamina Milk Protein Mouse Mammary Gland 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. Barcellos-Hoff
    • 1
  • M. J. Bissell
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cell and Molecular BiologyLawrence Berkeley LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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