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Genetic manipulation of the mammary gland by transplantation

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Mammary epithelium can be reconstituted in vivo by transplanting fragments of mammary epithelium, or suspensions of mammary epithelial cells, into the 'cleared' mammary fat pad of a syngeneic recipient mouse. A 'cleared' mammary fat pad is one from which the natural epithelium has been removed at 3 weeks of age. Genes can be introduced into the epithelium before transplantation using retrovirus vectors, or the epithelium can be taken from a knockout mouse [1]. The applications of transplantation, and its advantages and disadvantages compared with transgenesis will be surveyed, including the ability to use hormone-insensitive promoters; to introduce genes into clones of cells rather than whole tissues; the ease of studying early preneoplastic change; and the use of transplantation with transgenic knockouts, to rescue embryonic lethals and to distinguish systemic from local effects [2].


  1. 1.

    Edwards , et al: J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 1996, 1: 75-90.

  2. 2.

    Fantl , et al: . Dev Biol. 1999, 212: 1-11. 10.1006/dbio.1999.9329.

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Edwards, P. Genetic manipulation of the mammary gland by transplantation. Breast Cancer Res 5, 6 (2003) doi:10.1186/bcr665

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  • Epithelial Cell
  • Cancer Research
  • Knockout Mouse
  • Mammary Gland
  • Local Effect