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)