In-depth studies have identified many hormones important for controlling mammary growth
and maintaining lactation. One of these is melatonin, which is synthesized and secreted by the pineal
gland to regulate circadian rhythms, improve antioxidant capacity, and enhance immunity. Prolactin is
secreted by the pituitary gland and is associated with the growth and development of mammary glands
as well as initiation and maintenance of lactation. The hypothalamus-pituitary system, the most important
endocrine system in the body, regulates prolactin secretion mainly through dopamine released
from tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neurons. This review provides a reference for further study and
describes the regulation of lactation and prolactin secretion by melatonin, primarily via the protection
and stimulation of tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neurons.
Keywords: Melatonin, prolactin, dopamine, lactation, hypothalamus-pituitary system, tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neurons.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport