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March 1976

Prolactin: Physiology and Clinical Significance

Author Affiliations

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh 125 DeSoto St Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(3):341. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120040119033

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Prolactin has been known to exist in animals since the 1930s. The more recent development of pituitary tissue culture and radioimmunoassay techniques provided methods for establishing the identity of human prolactin as an entity distinct from human growth hormone and placental lactogen. Therefore, a review of recent advances in knowledge about prolactin is of interest to physicians, especially because its actions are ubiquitous and extend far beyond lactation.

The two volumes by David F. Horrobin provide a thorough review of advances in experimental and clinical studies of prolactin through October 1974. He has actively researched the roles prolactin plays in man and animals. The first volume begins with a review of the physiology and pathophysiology of prolactin.

The chapters in this section synthesize the knowledge in the areas of prolactin effects on reproduction, pregnancy and lactation, thyroid function, cancer, and fluid and electrolyte metabolism. The discussion is very well referenced.

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