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Prolactin pp 297-316 | Cite as

Regulation of Pancreatic Islets by Prolactin, Growth Hormone and Placental Lactogen

  • Robert L. Sorenson
  • T. Clark Brelje
Part of the Endocrine Updates book series (ENDO, volume 12)

Abstract

The role of pituitary hormones in the regulation of glucose homeostasis was first recognized by Bernado Houssay in the 1930’s (1–3). Subsequent studies have demonstrated that both prolactin (PRL) and growth hormone (GH) secreted by the pituitary and the closely related placental lactogen (PL) secreted by the placenta during pregnancy are involved in the regulation of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism (4). Although changes in the function of pancreatic islets of Langerhans are reported in many of these conditions, it has been unclear to what extent these reflect a direct effect of the hormones on islets or are a consequence of the changes in other tissues that increase the demand for insulin (e.g., peripheral insulin resistance). In the 1960’s, it became possible to examine the direct effect of these hormones on islets in vitro. Unfortunately, the species from which islets were easily available (e.g., from rats and mice) were not the same as that of the hormones (e.g., primarily human). The high degree of structural relatedness of these hormones allows a heterologous hormone to have biological properties in tissues from other species that are not shared with the homologous hormone (5–8). Because of these problems with both in vivo and in vitro studies, no unified picture has emerged to explain the physiological roles of these individual hormones in the regulation of pancreatic function.

Keywords

Growth Hormone Insulin Secretion Pancreatic Islet Peripheral Insulin Resistance Islet Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Sorenson
    • 1
  • T. Clark Brelje
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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