Mood, Food, and Fertility: Adaptations of the Maternal Brain.
- Barbara Woodside
- Comprehensive Physiology
Changes in the volume, the rates of fatty acid synthesis and synthesis of the glycerol moiety of acylglycerols, the activity of lipoprotein lipase, and the number and affinity of insulin receptors of adipocytes, and concentrations of serum insulin, prolactin and progesterone were determined in virgin rats and in rats at various stages of pregnancy and lactation. Changes in the metabolic activities of adipose tissue appeared to be synchronized and primarily comprised a marked decrease in anabolic activity around parturition. In contrast, the number of insulin receptors (Kd 1.5 nM) per adipocyte doubled during pregnancy before returning to normal values around parturition. It is postulated that the increase in the number of insulin receptors is an adaptation to counteract the effects of insulin-antagonistic hormones during pregnancy and that the decrease in the number of receptors is primarily responsible for the loss of anabolic activity around parturition.