Establishment and Characterization of a Lactating Caprine Mammary Gland Luminal Epithelial Cell Line

  •  Mahipal Singh    
  •  Benjamin Hortman    
  •  Venkata Degala    
  •  Xiaoling Ma    


Mammary gland is a defining characteristic of mammalian species which produces nutritious milk and plays a major role in the development of newborns. The gland contains a series of ducts and crevices leading back to alveoli, which contain milk producing cells called luminal epithelial cells. These cells, if cultured in-vitro, can be utilized to explore the metabolic processes occurring during milk production. The knowledge thus gained can be used to manipulate the system to enhance milk production and/or modify its composition. The main objective of this study was to establish a luminal epithelial cell-line from a lactating goat. Explant culture technique was used to produce primary cells from the mammary tissue of a 4-year-old lactating Saanen goat. The outgrowing cells were purified by selective trypsinization to remove fibroblast cells in 3-4 serial passages. The purified cell cultures exhibited cobblestone morphology, typical of the mammary epithelial cells, formed clear islands when plated in low density, and exhibited dome-shaped structures, if cultured for extended time. The cells stained positive with anti-human cytokeratin 18 antibodies, confirming their epithelial nature. Cell cultures also stained positive with rabbit anti-bovine β-lactoglobulin antibodies, indicating milk production in these cells. The cell-line has potential as an in-vitro cell model to understand signaling during milk synthesis, mammary gland development, and testing DNA constructs for therapeutic protein secretion in milk, prior to production of transgenic goats.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9671
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-968X
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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