The role of Prolactin

  1. 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.
  2. Responsible for mammary gland development and milk production
  3. Causes behavioural changes, especially an increase in maternal behaviour.
  4. Controls metabolic adaptations necessary for an increase in energy expenditure
  5. Associated with complex immune system interactions and has an immuno-modulatory role within mammary gland
  6. 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
  7. May be involved in some tumour forming processes, especially those involving the mammary gland