ABSTRACT: Regulatory peptides have previously been detected in epithelial cells of human mammary glands. As these peptides are produced by scattered neuroendocrine cells in the epithelium of other tissues the aim of this study was to investigate whether the mammary glands express molecular markers for neuroendocrine cells.
Specimens from 28 human mammary glands were retrieved. The distribution of immunoreactive cells was determined using immunohistochemistry with antibodies versus a set of endocrine markers including peptide hormones, chromogranins/secretogranins, vesicular monoamine transporters, synaptophysin, serotonin and synaptic vesicle protein 2.
Cells of the luminal epithelium of ducts and lobules of human mammary glands expressed vesicular monoamine transporter 2 and chromogranin B, as well as the previously reported regulatory peptides obestatin, ghrelin, adrenomedullin and apelin. Using consecutive sections, it was revealed that the immunoreactivity patterns of the regulatory peptides and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 were similar. Interestingly, immunoreactivity for secretogranin II, secretogranin III and chromogranin B was identified in myoepithelial cells. No immunoreactivity was detected for chromogranin A or synaptophysin.
Specific cells in the epithelium and myoepithelium of mammary glands express neuroendocrine markers suggesting that mammary glands may have neuroendocrine functions.
Regulatory Peptides 02/2010; 160(1-3):68-74. · 2.11 Impact Factor