Technical note: Isolation and characterization of porcine mammary epithelial cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Within the mammary gland, functional synthesis of milk is performed by its epithelial (alveolar) cells. The availability of a stable mammary epithelial cell line is essential for biochemical studies to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for nutritional regulation of lactation. Therefore, porcine mammary epithelial cells (PMEC) were isolated from mammary glands of a 9-mo-old nonpregnant and nonlactating gilt and cultured to establish a nonimmortalized cell line. These cells were characterized by expression of cytokeratin-18 (an intermediate filament specific for epithelial cells), -casein (a specific marker for mammary epithelial cells), and -lactalbumin. In culture, the PMEC doubled in number every 24 h and maintained a cobblestone morphology, typical for cultured epithelial cells, for at least 15 passages. Addition of 0.2 to 2 g/mL prolactin to culture medium for 3 d induced the production of -casein and -lactalbumin by PMEC in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, we have successfully developed a useful PMEC line for future studies of cellular and molecular regulation of milk synthesis by mammary epithelial cells of the sow.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Dahanayaka, S., Rezaei, R., Porter, W. W., Johnson, G. A., Burghardt, R. C., Bazer, F. W., ... Wu, G.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Dahanayaka, S||Rezaei, R||Porter, WW||Johnson, GA||Burghardt, RC||Bazer, FW||Hou, YQ||Wu, ZL||Wu, G

publication date

  • November 2015