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The possible involvement of salsolinol and hypothalamic prolactin in the central regulatory processes in ewes during lactation.

  • Górski, K
  • Romanowicz, K
  • Herman, A
  • Molik, E
  • Gajewska, A
  • Tomaszewska-Zaremba, D
  • Misztal, T
Published Article
Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2009.01521.x
PMID: 19747187


Salsolinol, a dopamine-related compound and prolactin-producing cells were found in the ovine hypothalamus. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that salsolinol, acting from the CNS level, is able to stimulate pituitary prolactin release as well as prolactin mRNA expression in the anterior pituitary cells (AP) and in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) in lactating ewes. The intracerebroventricular infusions of salsolinol in two doses, total of 50 ng or 5 μg, were performed in a series of five 10-min infusions at 20-min intervals. All infusions were made from 12:30 to 15:00 and the pre-infusion period was from 10:00 to 12.30 h. The prolactin concentration in plasma samples, collected every 10 min, was determined by radioimmunoassay; prolactin mRNA expression in AP and MBH tissues was determined by real-time PCR. The obtained results showed that salsolinol infused at the higher dose significantly (p < 0.001) increased plasma prolactin concentration in lactating ewes, when compared with the concentration noted before the infusion and with that in lactating controls. In lactating ewes, the relative levels of prolactin mRNA expression in the AP and MBH were up to twofold and fivefold higher respectively than in non-lactating ewes (p < 0.05). In our experimental design, salsolinol did not significantly affect the ongoing process of prolactin gene expression in these tissues. We conclude that in ewes, salsolinol may be involved, at least, in the process of stimulation of prolactin release during lactation and that hypothalamic prolactin plays an important role in the central mechanisms of adaptation to lactation.

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