Relationships among prolactin binding, prolactin concentrations in plasma and metabolic activity of the porcine mammary gland.

K. I. Plaut, R. S. Kensinger, L. C. Griel, J. F. Kavanaugh

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33 Scopus citations


The current studies were designed to investigate relationships among prolactin (PRL) binding, PRL concentrations in plasma and metabolic activity of porcine mammary glands. Preliminary studies revealed specific high-affinity binding of oPRL to porcine mammary gland. Conditions for optimal specific binding were similar to those observed for other species. To address the main objectives of the study, four mammary biopsies and blood samples were obtained from each of four gilts during lactogenesis and lactation (d-11, 4, 21 and 42 of lactation) to measure in vitro rates of metabolic activity, PRL binding to mammary membranes and PRL concentrations in plasma. Metabolic activity, as measured by oxidation of glucose or acetate to CO2 and incorporation into lipid, was low during pregnancy, increased two- to five-fold on d 4, and then paralleled the lactation curve for sows. There were highly significant positive correlations between PRL binding and all measures of mammary metabolism when data from pregnancy and lactation were utilized. Coefficients were positive but generally not statistically significant when lactation data only were utilized. During lactation, significant negative correlations were observed between concentrations of PRL in plasma and PRL binding and between PRL in plasma and mammary metabolic rate. These data provide evidence that binding of PRL to its receptor is an important effector of milk production in sows. Furthermore, oPRL is a suitable ligand to quantify PRL binding to porcine mammary tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1509-1519
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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