The role of Prolactin
- Provides essential endocrinological support (in addition to a smaller role played by LHLuteinising hormone; produced by the anterior pituitary gland and triggers ovulation) for the Corpus LuteumLiterally means “yellow body” and is responsible for progesterone production within the ovary during the last 2/3 of pregnancy, encouraging it to continue to produce progesteronea steroid hormone secreted by the corpus luteum of the ovary that maintains pregnancy and promotes the development of the mammary glands.
- Responsible for mammary gland development and milk production
- Causes behavioural changes, especially an increase in maternal behaviour.
- Controls metabolic adaptations necessary for an increase in energy expenditure
- Associated with complex immune system interactions and has an immuno-modulatory role within mammary gland
- Involved in homeostasis, having a role in the movement of water within the mammary gland and across the intestines as well as the excretion of sodium and potassium ions
- May be involved in some tumour forming processes, especially those involving the mammary gland