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Effect of suckling on plasma prolactin and hypothalamic (...)

Endocrinology. 1976 Aug ;99(2):445-51
Effect of suckling on plasma prolactin and hypothalamic monoamine levels in the rat.
Mena F, Enjalbert A, Carbonell L, Priam M, Kordan C.

In lactating rats that were separated from their pups for 8 hours, suckling induced a rapid rise in plasma prolactin levels. Correlatively, it induced a depletion in dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) Concentrations within the hypothalamus as early as 5 min after the onset of suckling. This depletion lasted as long as the stimulus was maintained. A parallel increase in the level of the metabolite of 5-HT, 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA), was observed. Under these conditons, the ratio of 5-HIAA/5-HT is augmented. This ratio is a good index of turnover of the transmitter. Suckling affected neither the content of noradrenaline (NA) in the hypothalamus nor the levels of any amine tested in the cerebral cortex. When pups were separated from their mother for 24 hours, suckling no longer resulted in changes in either plasma prolactin levels or hypothalamic DA, 5-HT, or 5-HIAA concentrations. We have concluded that the activation of a discrete system of 5-HT containing neurons is associated with the triggering effect of suckling on prolactin release.


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