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Highly Accessed Open Badges Editorial

Pregnancy protection of breast cancer: new insights reveal unanswered questions

Daniel Medina

Author Affiliations

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA

Breast Cancer Research 2013, 15:103  doi:10.1186/bcr3414

See related research by Meier-Abt et al.,

Published: 8 May 2013


The recent paper by Meier-Abt and colleagues on pregnancy protection of breast cancer development takes a different approach to the problem and focused on the effect of parity on the cell subpopulations of the mouse mammary gland. Their results demonstrate that parity decreases the cell number of the hormone receptor-positive luminal cells (that is, luminal Sca1+) but not the basal stem/progenitor cells (CD24lo/CD49hi). Additionally, microarray studies demonstrate that wnt4 expression from the luminal Sca1+ cells is markedly reduced as is the wnt signaling pathway in basal cells. One important implication from these results is that targeting the wnt signaling pathway might be a feasible prevention approach in humans.