Melatonin Modulates Lactation by Regulating Prolactin Secretion Via Tuberoinfundibular Dopaminergic Neurons in the Hypothalamus- Pituitary System

Author(s): Hongyang Li, Jingya Wei, Fengtao Ma, Qiang Shan, Duo Gao, Yuhang Jin, Peng Sun*

Journal Name: Current Protein & Peptide Science

Volume 21 , Issue 8 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


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.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 09 November, 2020
Page: [744 - 750]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1389203721666200511093733
Price: $65

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