Profiles of Target-Cell Prolactin and Adrenocorticotropin during Lactational Diestrus

  • Janet M. Nolin
Part of the Biochemical Endocrinology book series (BIOEND)


Endocrinology can be viewed as a very old science when one considers that ablation of certain of the glands of internal secretion, in particular the gonads, was practiced very early on in our history. (One can even postulate that the bravest among some of our ancestors got hold of a saber-toothed tiger long enough to turn him into a pussycat!) It was not until whole organs, homogenates, or extracts were tested for activity that could repair a deficiency, however, that modern endocrinology began about a century ago. This sort of qualitative bioassay approach continued to be used well past the first third of the present century and involved hormones exclusively in their glands of origin, i.e., hormones in very large amounts. As bioassay sensitivities were improved, detection of a relatively wide range of concentrations became possible in the late 1940’s and 1950’s, and during this period it even became possible to detect some hormones in transit to their targets, but again, the amounts that could be detected were present at the lower concentrations that could be measured in tissues of origin, and therefore the improved methods could detect hormones in blood only if they were present in supraphysiological amounts. Then, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, came radioimmunoassays (RIAs) and radioreceptor assays (RRAs) that allowed the study of hormones in transit, not only in physiological, but also in subphysiological, concentrations.


Mammary Gland Granulosa Cell Adrenal Cortex Activity Cycle Follicular Fluid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet M. Nolin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyMedical College of VirginiaRichmondUSA

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