We have used the mouse mammary tumor virus promoter to express two dominant negative (DN) fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) isoforms in the mammary epithelium of transgenic mice. While expression of DN-FGFR1(IIIc) showed no discernible phenotype, a similar kinase negative form of FGFR2(IIIb) caused a marked impairment of lobuloalveolar development. The growth retardation was apparent by mid-pregnancy and persisted in the post-partum glands. Despite the substantial underdevelopment of the mammary gland there was a measurable lactational response, but it was insufficient to properly sustain the new-born pups. These findings demonstrate that fibroblast growth factor signalling is necessary for pregnancy dependent lobuloalveolar development of the mammary gland.

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