Role of Placental Lactogen and Prolactin in Human Pregnancy

  • Stuart Handwerger
  • Michael Freemark
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 219)


Placental lactogen and prolactin along with growth hormone form a family of protein hormones with striking homologies in chemical and biological properties (Josimovich and McLaren, 1962; Sherwood et al., 1971). The three hormones have molecular weights in the range of 22–24 kD and exhibit both lactogenic and somatotrophic properties (Table 1). Human placental lactogen (hPL; human chorionic somatomammotrophin, hCS) is synthesized by the syncytiotrophoblast cells of the placenta, the same cells which synthesize and secrete human chorionic gonadotropin. Human prolactin during pregnancy is synthesized and secreted by both the anterior pituitary gland and the decidua.


Growth Hormone Amniotic Fluid Growth Hormone Receptor Placental Lactogen Human Placental Lactogen 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Handwerger
    • 1
  • Michael Freemark
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and PhysiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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