Water buffaloes are the principle source of milk in south Asia and Africa. Mammary gland repeatedly undergoes the cycles of growth and regeneration during pregnancy, lactation and involution. It is assumed that buffalo mammary gland has mammary stem and progenitor cells that regulate gland growth and regeneration. In the present study the authors analyzed percentage of cellular composition, proliferation status and putative mammary stem/progenitor cell population. Identification of putative buffalo mammary stem/progenitor cells was attempted using immunohistochemical staining with Musashi1 (MSI1), an adult stem cell marker and fibronectin type III domain containing 3B (FNDC3B), a mammary stem and cancer cell marker. Immunolocalization of MSI1 and FNDC3B showed nuclear and cytoplasmic staining of alveolar and ductal mammary epithelial cells (MEC) and a few stromal cells. The percentage of MSI1-positive MEC in non-lactating (3.31 ± 1.11 %), lactating (2.73 ± 0.78 %) and mastitic glands (3.30 ± 0.97 %) were equivalent, indicating that the proportion of putative stem/progenitor cell population did not differ during various physiological stages. Likewise, the percentage of FNDC3B-positive MEC in non-lactating (12.40 ± 3.22 %) tended to be higher than lactating (8.19 ± 2.71 %) and mastitic glands (4.88 ± 2.37 %). In some cases, expression of MSI1 and FNDC3B was exceptionally high with high proliferative indices (37.6 ± 2.4 %)-an indication of tumor cells. This is the first report on expression of MSI1 and FNDC3B in buffalo mammary gland. Identification of buffalo mammary stem cells using MSI1 and FNDC3B requires further studies and functional validation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 2, 2016
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