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Mammary alveolar epithelial cells convert to brown adipocytes in post-lactating mice

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Antonio Giordano, Jessica Perugini, David Møbjerg Kristensen, Loris Sartini, Andrea Frontini, Shingo Kajimura, Karsten Kristiansen, Saverio Cinti

During pregnancy and lactation, subcutaneous white adipocytes in the mouse mammary gland
transdifferentiate reversibly to milk-secreting epithelial cells. In this study, we demonstrate by
transmission electron microscopy that in the post-lactating mammary gland interscapular
multilocular adipocytes found close to the mammary alveoli contain milk protein granules. Use
of the Cre-loxP recombination system allowed showing that the involuting mammary gland of
whey acidic protein-Cre/R26R mice, whose secretory alveolar cells express the lacZ gene during
pregnancy, contains some X-Gal-stained and uncoupling protein 1-positive interscapular
multilocular adipocytes. These data suggest that during mammary gland involution some milk-
secreting epithelial cells in the anterior subcutaneous depot may transdifferentiate to brown
adipocytes, highlighting a hitherto unappreciated feature of mouse adipose organ plasticity
TidsskriftJournal of Cellular Physiology
Sider (fra-til)2923-2928
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 2017

ID: 183637824