Oestrogens regulate divergent effects of prolactin in the ovary

Johannes D Veldhuis, J. M. Hammond

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28 Scopus citations


Prolactin exerts well established stimulatory effects both in vitro and in vivo in the rat ovary. However, in the ovary of higher mammals, prolactin action is not well characterised, and may differ from that observed in rodents. For example, in human clinical conditions of physiological or pathological prolactin excess, ovarian function is depressed, and in isolated, human granulosa cells in vitro, prolactin seems to inhibit progesterone production. To examine direct prolactin effects in the higher mammalian ovary, we have used an in vitro porcine granulosa-cell model. In this system, prolactin action is bipotential, depending critically on the degree of granulosa-cell differentiation attained in vivo. Prolactin suppresses steroid production by cultured granulosa cells isolated from small (1-2 mm), immature follicles, but stimulates progesterone secretion by granulosa cells collected from large (>6 mm) mature follicles. The present studies show that oestrogens may play an important part in regulating these divergent actions of prolactin in the ovary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-264
Number of pages3
Issue number5753
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


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Veldhuis, J. D., & Hammond, J. M. (1980). Oestrogens regulate divergent effects of prolactin in the ovary. Nature, 284(5753), 262-264.