Prolactin affects leptin action in the bovine mammary gland via the mammary fat pad

Y. Feuermann, S. J. Mabjeesh, L. Niv-Spector, D. Levin, A. Shamay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


One of the roles of the endocrine system is to synchronize mammary function. Hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin act directly on the mammary gland. Metabolic hormones, such as GH, glucocorticoids, insulin, and leptin are responsible for coordinating the body's response to metabolic homeostasis. Leptin has been shown to be an important factor in regulating the metabolic adaptation of nutrient partitioning during the energy-consuming processes of lactation. In the present study, we show that leptin is secreted from the mammary fat, and is regulated by prolactin The expression of α-casein in a co-culture of epithelia cells and fat explants was enhanced by prolactin compared with that in epithelial cells cultured alone. Leptin antagonist abolished the effect of leptin on α-casein expression in mammary gland explants when exogenous leptin was not present in the medium. This finding supports our hypothesis that the antagonist abolishes the action of endogenous leptin secreted by the mammary adipocytes. These results lead us to the hypothesis that prolactin and leptin act in the bovine mammary gland, via mammary fat pad/adipocytes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)407-413
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2006


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