How do hormones guide mammary glands and lactation?

  • News
  • 03 Okt. 2022
2022 University Of Oxford FLRF

Just published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, this article summarizes our knowledge to date of the endocrine system’s intricate links to mammary gland development and functions.

It also highlights gaps for future research that could resolve lactation disorders which impact breastfeeding. Find all the details here in 'Hormonal regulation of mammary gland development and lactation'.

The authors cover these and other key points:  

  • How (and which) hormones influence the way mammary glands develop, from puberty to pregnancy and throughout lactation
  • How hormones like prolactin stimulate the lactation process, and how hormone disorders lead to delayed lactation onset or insufficient milk production – both causes of early breastfeeding cessation
  • How diabetes, genetic diseases and environmental contaminants can disrupt hormonal control of lactation

Further investigation, say the authors, is needed to deepen our understanding of the endocrine regulation of lactation. This in turn should provide mechanistic insight about the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and their children – and point the way to better management of lactation disorders.

We are proud to help support this work by our partners at the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Oxford Centre for the Endocrinology of Human Lactation (LRF OCEHL).

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