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In Utero Exposure to trans-10, cis-12 Conjugated Linoleic Acid Modifies Postnatal Development of the Mammary Gland and its Hormone Responsiveness.


We previously showed that dietary trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (10,12 CLA) stimulates estrogen-independent mammary growth in young ovariectomized mice. Here we investigated the effects of in utero or postnatal exposure to cis-9, trans-11 (9,11 CLA) and 10,12 CLA on postnatal development of the mammary gland and its responsiveness to ovarian steroids. In the first experiment we fed dams different CLA prior to and during gestation, then cross fostered female pups onto control fed dams prior to assessing the histomorphology of their mammary glands. Pregnant dams in the second experiment were similarly exposed to CLA, after which their female pups were ovariectomized then treated with 17β-estradiol (E), progesterone (P) or E + P for 5 days. In a third experiment, mature female mice were fed different CLA for 28 days prior to ovariectomy, then treated with E, P or E + P. Our data indicate that 10,12 CLA modifies the responsiveness of the mammary glands to E or E + P when exposure occurs either in utero, or postnatally. These findings underline the sensitivity of the mammary glands to dietary fatty acids and reinforce the potential for maternal nutrition to impact postnatal development of the mammary glands and their risk for developing cancer.

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