Optimizing hormonal and amino acid combinations for enhanced cell proliferation and cell cycle progression in bovine mammary epithelial cells

  • Hyuk Cheol Kwon (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Hyun Su Jung (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Do Hyun Kim (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Jong Hyeon Han (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Seo Gu Han (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Dong Hyun Keum (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Seong Joon Hong (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Sung Gu Han (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University)
  • Received : 2023.05.25
  • Accepted : 2023.08.11
  • Published : 2023.11.01


Objective: The number of bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMECs) is closely associated with the quantity of milk production in dairy cows; however, the optimal levels and the combined effects of hormones and essential amino acids (EAAs) on cell proliferation are not completely understood. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the optimal combination of individual hormones and EAAs for cell proliferation and related signaling pathways in BMECs. Methods: Immortalized BMECs (MAC-T) were treated with six hormones (insulin, cortisol, progesterone, estrone, 17β-estradiol, and epidermal growth factor) and ten EAAs (arginine, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine, tryptophan, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, and valine) for 24 h. Results: Cells were cultured in a medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) as FBS supplemented at a concentration of 10% to 50% showed a comparable increase in cell proliferation rate. The optimized combination of four hormones (insulin, cortisol, progesterone, and 17β-estradiol) and 20% of a mixture of ten EAAs led to the highest cell proliferation rate, which led to a significant increase in cell cycle progression at the S and G2/M phases, in the protein levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and cyclin B1, cell nucleus staining, and in cell numbers. Conclusion: The optimal combination of hormones and EAAs increased BMEC proliferation by enhancing cell cycle progression in the S and G/2M phases. Our findings indicate that optimizing hormone and amino acid levels has the potential to enhance milk production, both in cell culture settings by promoting increased cell numbers, and in dairy cows by regulating feed intake.



This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2022R1A2C1008327).


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