Isoflavones are a class of flavonoids present in legumes and are called phytoestrogens because of their estrogen-like activity. Endogenous estrogen is well known to regulate mammary gland morphogenesis during pregnancy. Each isoflavone also has different physiological activities. However, it is difficult to investigate the direct effect of each isoflavone in mammary morphogenesis in vivo because isoflavones are metabolized into different isoflavones by enteric bacteria. In this study, investigated are the direct influences of coumestrol, daidzein, and genistein on mammary structure development and future milk production ability of mammary epithelial cells (MECs) using in vitro culture models. Mouse MECs are cultured in Matrigel with basic fibroblast growth factor and epidermal growth factor to induce ductal branching and alveolar formation, respectively. Coumestrol and genistein inhibit ductal branching and alveolar formation by affecting the proliferation and migration of MECs with the induction of apoptosis. Daidzein hardly influences mammary structure development. Furthermore, pretreatment with coumestrol adversely affects the induction of milk production ability of MECs. These results suggest that each isoflavone differentially influences mammary morphogenesis and future milk production by affecting MEC behaviors. These results also suggest that the culture models are effective to study mammary epithelial morphogenesis in vitro.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)