Here, we investigate the role of caveolin-1 (Cav-1) in breast cancer onset and progression, with a focus on epithelial-stromal interactions, ie, the tumor microenvironment. Cav-1 is highly expressed in adipocytes and is abundant in mammary fat pads (stroma), but it remains unknown whether loss of Cav-1 within mammary stromal cells affects the differentiated state of mammary epithelia via paracrine signaling. To address this issue, we characterized the development of the mammary ductal system in Cav-1-/- mice and performed a series of mammary transplant studies, using both wild-type and Cav-1-/- mammary fat pads. Cav-1-/- mammary epithelia were hyperproliferative in vivo, with dramatic increases in terminal end bud area and mammary ductal thickness as well as increases in bromodeoxyuridine incorporation, extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 hyperactivation, and up-regulation of STAT5a and cyclin D1. Consistent with these findings, loss of Cav-1 dramatically exacerbated mammary lobulo-alveolar hyperplasia in cyclin D1 Tg mice, whereas overexpression of Cav-1 caused reversion of this phenotype. Most importantly, Cav-1-/- mammary stromal cells (fat pads) promoted the growth of both normal mammary ductal epithelia and mammary tumor cells. Thus, Cav-1 expression in both epithelial and stromal cells provides a protective effect against mammary hyperplasia as well as mammary tumorigenesis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by the Charlotte Geyer Foundation (to M.P.L.), the National Cancer Institute (grants R01CA98779, R01CA80250 , and R01CA93596 to M.P.L. and R.G.P.), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (M.P.L. and R.G.P.). R.G.P. was also generously supported by the Dr. Ralph and Marian C. Falk Medical Research Trust.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine