Mammary gland development is a complex process involving epithelial cells and supporting stromal cells. Macrophages (MØs) are an important component of the mammary gland stroma and are critical for normal mammary gland development; however, the mechanisms by which macrophages regulate these processes are not well understood. MØs are known to interact with numerous cell types, including epithelial cells, fibroblasts, adipocytes, and endothelial cells, all of which are significant components of mammary gland development. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to describe the interactions between MØs and these various cell types and use this knowledge to identify potential functions of MØs in the mammary gland.
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Acknowledgments K.L.S. was supported by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (CA 097676). This work was supported by NIH grant CA16303 to J.M.R. and NIH grant R01 HL69459 and the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program to D.A.C.
- Mammary gland