Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

 Cytokines in milk and the role of TGF-beta
Cytokines are required for normal growth and development of the mammary gland and TGF-? prominently represents an established effector of apoptosis, e.g., during involution of the mammary gland. By the control of intracellular signaling pathways, including JAK/STAT, MAPK, PI-3K, and NF-?B, cytokines efficiently regulate cell proliferation and inflammation in the breast. Therefore, cytokines are discussed also in a context of malignant mammary growth. As a group of tissue hormones produced by somatic cells or by cells from the immune system, cytokines are defined by their immunomodulatory potential.