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11 January 2012 Identification of Goat Mammary Stem/Progenitor Cells
Sonja Prpar, Eugenio Martignani, Peter Dovc, Mario Baratta
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Goat mammary gland epithelial cells have been used to establish primary and permanent cell lines, but to date, no data have been available regarding mammary stem cells (MaSCs) in this species. The detection and characterization of goat MaSCs is an important task for a better understanding of the cyclic character of mammary gland development, which will also offer the potential for manipulation of lactation yield and persistency. The objective of the present study was to demonstrate that a subpopulation of goat MaSCs resides in the goat mammary gland. Mammary tissue from lactating Saanen goats (Capra hircus) was dissociated and processed to a single-cell suspension. Using an in vitro colony-forming assay, we demonstrated that distinct colony types, which expressed specific lineage markers, arose from unipotent progenitors. Using two different growth media, we showed that the frequencies of caprine clonogenic progenitors differed according to growth conditions. Goat epithelial cells were transplanted under the kidney capsule of nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) mice, where they formed organized, bilayered structures. Our results indicate the presence of goat MaSCs in the caprine mammary gland. To our knowledge, these data represent the first description of the tissue hierarchy of the goat mammary gland and demonstrate the regenerative potential of adult goat MaSCs.

© 2012 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.
Sonja Prpar, Eugenio Martignani, Peter Dovc, and Mario Baratta "Identification of Goat Mammary Stem/Progenitor Cells," Biology of Reproduction 86(4), (11 January 2012).
Received: 8 August 2011; Accepted: 1 January 2012; Published: 11 January 2012
mammary glands
ruminants (cows
stem cells
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