Journal of Dairy Research

Original Articles

Xanthine oxidase/dehydrogenase in mammary gland of mouse: relationship to mammogenesis and lactogenesis in vivo and in vitro

Thomas J. Haydena1, Denise Brennana1, Katherine Quirkea1 and Paddie Murphya1

a1 Department of Zoology, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Irish Republic


Xanthine oxidase/dehydrogenase (XO/XDH) increases at mid gestation in mammary gland but not in liver of the mouse and remains elevated until the pups are weaned at 20 d post partum. The increase in enzyme activity is due neither to alteration in activators or inhibitors nor to a production of a variant enzyme with altered catalytic properties. The increase is preceded in vivo by a surge of prolactin-like activity (placental lactogen) in plasma, and prolactin is required for induction of XO/XDH in explant culture in vitro. Induction of XO/XDH in vivo and in vitro precedes the full histological differentiation of the gland. In addition, induction of XO/XDH in vitro occurs more rapidly and at lower concentrations of prolactin than does histological differentiation. Thus although XO/XDH is present in milk, increased XO/XDH activity is an early event in mammogenesis in vivo and in vitro rather than a terminal component of differentiation.

(Received April 08 1991)

(Accepted June 20 1991)