Research Article

β-casein gene expression by in vitro cultured bovine mammary epithelial cells derived from developing mammary glands

Published: April 12, 2011
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (2) : 604-614 DOI: 10.4238/vol10-2gmr1034

Abstract

Epithelial cells from mammary gland tissue that are cultured in vitro are able to maintain specific functions of this gland, such as cellular differentiation and milk protein synthesis. These characteristics make these cells a useful model to study mammary gland physiology, development and differentiation; they can also be used for production of exogenous proteins of pharmaceutical interest. Bovine mammary epithelial cells were cultured in vitro after isolation from mammary gland tissue of animals at different stages of development. The cells were plated on Petri dishes and isolated from fibroblasts using saline/EDTA treatment, followed by trypsinization. Cells isolated on plastic were capable of differentiating into alveolus-like structures; however, only cells derived from non-pregnant and non-lactating animals expressed β-casein. Real-time qPCR and epifluorescence microscopy analyses revealed that alveolus-like structures were competent at expressing Emerald green fluorescent protein (EmGFP) driven by the β-casein promoter, independent of β-casein expression.

Epithelial cells from mammary gland tissue that are cultured in vitro are able to maintain specific functions of this gland, such as cellular differentiation and milk protein synthesis. These characteristics make these cells a useful model to study mammary gland physiology, development and differentiation; they can also be used for production of exogenous proteins of pharmaceutical interest. Bovine mammary epithelial cells were cultured in vitro after isolation from mammary gland tissue of animals at different stages of development. The cells were plated on Petri dishes and isolated from fibroblasts using saline/EDTA treatment, followed by trypsinization. Cells isolated on plastic were capable of differentiating into alveolus-like structures; however, only cells derived from non-pregnant and non-lactating animals expressed β-casein. Real-time qPCR and epifluorescence microscopy analyses revealed that alveolus-like structures were competent at expressing Emerald green fluorescent protein (EmGFP) driven by the β-casein promoter, independent of β-casein expression.