Mode of Action of Prolactin on Normal and Neoplastic Mammary Tissues

  • James A. Rillema


Prolactin is one of several hormones which is thought to be capable of initiating and promoting the growth of neoplastic tissues of mammary origin (10), (15), (24), (60). Accordingly, it is of critical importance to deliniate the sequel of biochemical events whereby prolactin has its actions on cellular proliferation; this knowledge will allow the use of logical approaches for creating useful methods to suppress neoplastic processes in mammary tissues. Although prolactin has a multitude of different actions in more than 80 different target tissues (17), most of the information concerning the mechanisms by which prolactin carries out its actions has been obtained using cultured normal mammary tissues. Only a limited amount of information is available concerning how prolactin has its actions on neoplastic mammary cells. Most of this chapter will therefore focus on how prolactin has its actions in normal mammary cells, but comments concerning prolactin’s actions on neoplastic mammary cells will be made where appropriate. Two recent reviews (40), (55) have summarized much of the available information concerning the mechanisms of action of prolactin in mammary tissues; the present chapter will incorporate recently published information into the knowledge contained in those earlier reviews.


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© Eden Press Inc. 1982

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  • James A. Rillema

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