Sex-Dependent Prolactin Pattern during Development
Despite its name which suggests a very specific role in the control of lactation, the hormone prolactin is now known to regulate numerous physiological functions in a wide variety of vertebrate species. Although suggestions have already been made that prolactin exerts different effects on the male reproductive tract f but it is not yet clear as to what physiological role this pituitary hormone may play in the male mammal. It seemed to us that before a precise hormonal function could be ascribed it is essential to establish quantitatively the prolactin /Pr/ level in the pituitaty and blood of male animals. Furthermore, from a consideration of the possibility of an important role for Pr during sexual maturation we decided that it would be more useful to determine Pr levels in the developing male and compare the data with the Pr level in developing females. In this paper we describe our initial findings on the comparison of circulating and hypophyseal levels of prolactin in developing male and female rats. It will be shown that Pr is present in high amounts in the neonatal male pituitary and that substantial levels of circulating hormone are maintained during the first weeks of development of the male. The pattern of changes in the hypophyseal and circulating prolactin in the male did not correspond to that in the female.
KeywordsBlood Serum Pituitary Gland Pituitary Tissue Male Reproductive Tract Separate Assay
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