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Characterizing mammary gland kisspeptin in cellular and mouse models of lactation

Juho Asteljoki, University of Oxford



I am an undergraduate biomedical science student from Finland, and am currently undertaking a secondment at the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Oxford Centre for the Endocrinology of Human Lactation (LRF OCEHL), University of Oxford, where I am researching the endocrinology of the mammary gland.

Very little is known about the hormonal and paracrine factors that cause lactation insufficiency, a problem which affects 10-15% of breastfeeding women. Kisspeptin is a reproductive hormone, which has recently been shown to expressed in the lactating bovine mammary gland, and also to influence milk production.

The aim of my project is characterise the regulation of mammary gland kisspeptin by undertaking the following studies:
1. Evaluate the expression of kisspeptin (Kiss1) and the kisspeptin receptor (kiss1R) at the RNA and protein level in mammary gland tissue obtained from mice during pregnancy, lactation and involution.
2. Assess the effect of lactogenic hormones and paracrine factors on modulating Kiss1 and Kiss1R expression in cultured human mammary epithelial cells and human mammary organoids.


Grant awarded: £1,940.00

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