Growth hormone is secreted by normal breast epithelium upon progesterone stimulation and increases proliferation of stem/progenitor cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using in vitro and in vivo experimental systems and in situ analysis, we show that growth hormone (GH) is secreted locally by normal human mammary epithelial cells upon progesterone stimulation. GH increases proliferation of a subset of cells that express growth hormone receptor (GHR) and have functional properties of stem and early progenitor cells. In 72% of ductal carcinoma in situ lesions, an expansion of the cell population that expresses GHR was observed, suggesting that GH signaling may contribute to breast cancer development.


  • Sara Lombardi
  • Gabriella Honeth
  • Christophe Ginestier
  • Ireneusz Shinomiya
  • Rebecca Marlow
  • Bharath Buchupalli
  • Patrycja Gazinska
  • John Brown
  • Steven Catchpole
  • Suling Liu
  • Ariel Barkan
  • Max Wicha
  • Anand Purushotham
  • Joy Burchell
  • Sarah Pinder
  • Gabriela Dontu
External organisations
  • King's College London
Research areas and keywords


  • Cell Proliferation, Cells, Cultured, Human Growth Hormone, Humans, Mammary Glands, Human, Progesterone, Stem Cells, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-93
Number of pages14
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 3
Publication categoryResearch