BMP4 and PTHrP interact to stimulate ductal outgrowth during embryonic mammary development and to inhibit hair follicle induction

Julie R. Hens, Pamela Dann, Jian Ping Zhang, Stephen Harris, Gertraud W. Robinson, John Wysolmerski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mammary glands develop initially as buds arising from the ventral embryonic epidermis. Recent work has shed light on signaling pathways leading to the patterning and formation of the mammary placodes and buds in mouse embryos. Relatively little is known of the signaling pathways that initiate branching morphogenesis and the formation of the ducts from the embryonic buds. Previous studies have shown that parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP; also known as parathyroid hormone-like pepticle, Pthlh) is produced by mammary epithelial cells and acts on surrounding mesenchymal cells to promote their differentiation into a mammary-specific dense mesenchyme. As a result of PTHrP signaling, the mammary mesenchyme supports mammary epithelial cell fate, initiates ductal development and patterns the overlying nipple sheath. In this report, we demonstrate that PTHrP acts, in part, by sensitizing mesenchymal cells to BMP signaling. PTHrP upregulates BMP receptor 1A expression in the mammary mesenchyme, enabling it to respond to BMP4, which is expressed within mesenchymal cells underlying the ventral epidermis during mammary bud formation. We demonstrate that BMP signaling is important for outgrowth of normal mammary buds and that BMP4 can rescue outgrowth of PTHrP1-/- mammary buds. In addition, the combination of PTHrP and BMP signaling is responsible for upregulating Msx2 gene expression within the mammary mesenchyme, and disruption of the Msx2 gene rescues the incluction of hair follicles on the ventral surface of mice overexpressing PTHrP in keratinocytes (K14-PTHrP). Our data suggest that PTHrP signaling sensitizes the mammary mesenchyme to the actions of BMP4, triggering outgrowth of the mammary buds and inducing MSX2 expression, which, in turn, leads to lateral inhibition of hair follicle formation within the developing nipple sheath.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1230
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment
Volume134
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Bone morphogenic proteins
  • Branching morphogenesis
  • Breast
  • Epidermanl appendages
  • Hair follicle
  • Mammary gland
  • Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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