The absence of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 A1-positive cells in benign mammary stroma is associated with risk factors for breast cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1)-expressing cells in stroma of histologically normal breast tissue from premenopausal women were investigated in situ regarding cellular morphology, cell distribution, and relation to the additional stem cell markers, CD44 (+) and CD24 (-). These results were correlated with hormonal and genetic risk factors for breast cancer. Triple immunofluorescence labeling was performed on tissues from premenopausal women with a family history of breast cancer, and breast reduction specimens from premenopausal women with no family history of breast cancer were used as a control group. The majority of ALDH1-immunoreactive cells in stroma were spindle-shaped or polygonal, and such cells that were CD44- and CD24- were absent in the breast stroma of a significantly larger number of nulliparous than parous women. A less common morphological type of ALDH1-positive cells in stroma was round or oval in shape, and such cells that were CD44+ and CD24- were absent in a significant number of women with a family history of breast cancer. The CD44+/CD24- immunophenotype is consistent with stem cells, and the round/oval morphology suggests mesenchymal cells. This study demonstrates that there are two morphologically distinct types of ALDH1-positive cells in histologically benign mammary stroma, and the absence of these cells is correlated with clinical risk factors for breast cancer in premenopausal women.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Telemark Hospital
  • ImaGene-iT AB
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • BRCA1 gene, Human, Immunohistochemistry, Mammary glands, Neoplasms, Stem cells
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Cancer: Targets and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 27
Publication categoryResearch

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Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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