Prolactin, neurogenesis, and maternal behaviors

  title={Prolactin, neurogenesis, and maternal behaviors},
  author={Caroline M. Larsen and David R. Grattan},
  journal={Brain, Behavior, and Immunity},
  • C. LarsenD. Grattan
  • Published 1 February 2012
  • Biology, Psychology, Medicine
  • Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Reproduction-Associated Hormones and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

A potential role of AHN in reproduction-related brain plasticity and its neurobiological relevance to motherhood behavior is emphasized and changes of reproduction-associated hormones during pregnancy are attempted.

Maternal experience and adult neurogenesis in mammals: Implications for maternal care, cognition, and mental health

The initial and lasting impact of maternal experience on adult neurogenesis is discussed, understanding how reproductive experience alters new neuron production in maternal mammals has far‐reaching implications for women's health and wellness across the lifespan.

Neurogenesis in the Maternal Rodent Brain: Impacts of Gestation-Related Hormonal Regulation, Stress, and Obesity

This review summarizes the changing levels of neurogenesis in mice and rats during gestation and postpartum as well as regulation of Neurogenesis by pregnancy-related hormones and identifies the gaps in the literature.

The birth of new neurons in the maternal brain: Hormonal regulation and functional implications

Maternal prolactin levels during late pregnancy and nurturing behavior of offspring in mice.

The elimination of prolactin secretion during late pregnancy alone does not induce neglect-like behavior in offspring, suggesting that CIN85-deficient mice appear to involve another factor due to Cin85 deficiency besides prolactIn deficiency.

Genetic and neuroendocrine regulation of the postpartum brain

Actions of Prolactin in the Brain: From Physiological Adaptations to Stress and Neurogenesis to Psychopathology

  • L. Torner
  • Biology, Psychology
    Front. Endocrinol.
  • 2016
The effects of PRL on neurogenesis and neuroprotection, the putative neuronal mechanisms underlying these effects, and their contribution to the onset of psychopathological states such as depression are discussed.

Neurogenesis and Reproduction

These findings exemplified the modification of neurogenesis by experience, and provide a novel perspective on the function of gonadal hormones in modulation of neuroplasticity.



Prolactin-induced mitogenesis in the subventricular zone of the maternal brain during early pregnancy is essential for normal postpartum behavioral responses in the mother.

It is demonstrated that prolactin-induced increase in generation of neural progenitors in the SVZ of the maternal brain during early pregnancy is required for normal expression of postpartum maternal behaviors.

Pregnancy-Stimulated Neurogenesis in the Adult Female Forebrain Mediated by Prolactin

It is shown that the production of neuronal progenitors is stimulated in the forebrain subventricular zone of female mice during pregnancy and that this effect is mediated by the hormone prolactin, implying that forebrain olfactory neurogenesis may contribute to adaptive behaviors in mating and pregnancy.

Exposure to female pheromones during pregnancy causes postpartum anxiety in mice.

Prolactin stimulation of maternal behavior in female rats.

Findings indicate a stimulatory behavioral role for pituitary prolactin in the establishment of maternal care and suggest that exposure to Prolactin during pregnancy helps to stimulate the immediate onset of maternal behavior at parturition.

Chronic intracerebral prolactin attenuates neuronal stress circuitries in virgin rats

It is demonstrated that chronic elevation of PRL levels within the brain results in reduced neuronal activation within the hypothalamus, specifically within the PVN, in response to an acute stressor.

Neuroendocrine control of maternal stress responses and fetal programming by stress in pregnancy

  • P. BruntonJ. Russell
  • Biology, Medicine
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
  • 2011

Differential Changes in Responses of Hypothalamic and Brainstem Neuronal Populations to Prolactin During Lactation in the Mouse1

Investigation of levels of functional prolactin-mediated signal transduction in the brain of lactating mice found pSTAT5 expression was markedly increased during lactation compared with the response to exogenous Prolactin during diestrus, consistent with the hypothesis that prolact in might mediate widespread adaptive responses in the maternal brain.

Brain mechanisms underlying emotional alterations in the peripartum period in rats

  • I. Neumann
  • Biology, Psychology
    Depression and anxiety
  • 2003
Downregulation of the brain CRH system may result in various behavioral adaptations of the maternal organisms, including changes in anxiety‐related behavior, and the lactating rat becomes less emotionally responsive to novel situations, demonstrating reduced anxiety.