Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



Our recent studies have shown that Tumor Adjacent Histologically Normal (TAHN) breast tissue demonstrates many of the characteristics of breast tumors. For example, through immunohistochemical staining with markers such as alpha smooth muscle actin and TGF-β, we have shown the accumulation of myofibroblasts in TAHN tissues 1 cm from the tumor margin (TAHN-1). Additionally, TAHN-1 epithelia stain positive for epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) associated proteins, such as transforming growth factor beta and alpha smooth muscle actin. The purpose of this study was to determine if TAHN-1 fibroblasts retained myofibroblast characteristics and if they could induce EMT in primary culture. We isolated primary cells from tissue specimens taken 1cm and 5cm from a breast tumor (TAHN-1, TAHN-5). Primary fibroblasts were stained positive for myofibroblast markers, and contracted a collagen gel, demonstrating that these cells retain their myofibroblast characteristics. Primary fibroblast conditioned culture media was also able to induce EMT markers and migration normal epithelial breast cells.


Cancer, Breast Cancer

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Garver, William Sherman

Second Committee Member

Hartley, Rebecca

Third Committee Member

Trujillo, Kristina