Midbrain microinfusions of prolactin increase the estrogen-dependent behavior, lordosis

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  25 Mar 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4591, pp. 1451-1453
DOI: 10.1126/science.6828874


Microinfusions of rat prolactin into the dorsal midbrain of estrogen-treated, ovariectomized rats increased lordosis behavior. Midbrain microinfusions of antiserum to prolactin into rats displaying maximum lordosis had the opposite effect. The distribution of a prolactin-like substance in the brain was studied immunocytochemically. The results suggest that a hypothalamic neuronal system projecting to the midbrain contains a prolactin-like substance that plays a role in facilitating this behavior and therefore may mediate some of the effects of estrogen on the brain. These data, together with others from studies of the prolactin gene and its regulation, indicate that it may be possible to analyze a sequence of molecular events in the brain that facilitate a behavioral response.