Bifunctional role of ephrin A1‐Eph system in stimulating cell proliferation and protecting cells from cell death through the attenuation of ER stress and inflammatory responses in bovine mammary epithelial cells Academic Article uri icon


  • Structural and functional development of the mammary gland is constant in the mammary gland life cycle. Eph receptors and their ligands, ephrins, control events through cell-to-cell interactions during embryonic development, and adult tissue homeostasis; however, little information on participation of ephrin A1, a representative ligand of the Eph receptor, in the development and function of normal mammary glands is known. In this study, we demonstrated functional effects of the ephrin A1-Eph system and mechanisms of its action on bovine mammary epithelial (MAC-T) cells. The in vitro cultured MAC-T cells expressed the ephrin A1 ligand and EphA1, A2, A4, A7, and A8 among the eight members of the Eph A family. Our results revealed that ephrin A1 induced MAC-T cell cycle progression and stimulated cell proliferation with abundant expression of nucleic PCNA and cyclin D1 proteins. Additionally, ephrin A1 induced activation of intracellular signaling molecules involved in PI3 K/AKT and MAPK signaling, and the proliferation-stimulating effect of ephrin A1 was mediated by activation of these pathways. Furthermore, ephrin A1 influenced expression and activation of various ER stress-related proteins and protected MAC-T cells from stress-induced cell death. Finally, ephrin A1 alleviated LPS-induced cell death through down-regulation of inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that the Eph A-ephrin A1 system is a positive factor in the increase and maintenance of epithelial cells in mammary glands of cows; the signaling system contributes to development, remodeling, and functionality of normal mammary glands and could overcome mastitis in cows and other mammals.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kang, M., Jeong, W., Bae, H., Lim, W., Bazer, F. W., & Song, G.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • March 2018