Prolactin (PRL) acts through its receptor (PRLR) via both endocrine and local paracrine/autocrine pathways to regulate biological processes including reproduction and lactation. We analyzed the tissue- and stage of gestation-specific regulation of PRL and PRLR expression in various tissues of pigs. Abundance of pPRLR-long form (LF) mRNA increased in the mammary gland and endometrium during gestation while in other tissues it remained constant. There was a parallel increase in the abundance of the pPRLR-LF protein in the mammary gland and endometrium during gestation. We determined the hormonal regulation of pPRLR-LF mRNA expression in various tissues from ovariectomized, hypoprolactinemic gilts given combinations of the replacement hormones estrogen (E2), progestin (P), and/or haloperidol-induced PRL. Abundance of pPRLR-LF mRNA in kidney and liver was unaffected by hormone treatments. Expression of uterine pPRLR-LF mRNA was induced by E2 whereas the effect of E2 was abolished by co-administering P. The expression of pPRLR-LF mRNA in the mammary gland stroma was induced by PRL, whereas E2 induced its expression in the epithelium. In contrast to these changes in pPRLR expression, pPRL expression was relatively constant and low during gestation in all tissues except the pituitary. Taken together, these data reveal that specific combinations of E2, P, and PRL differentially regulate pPRLR-LF expression in the endometrium and mammary glands, and that the action of PRL on its target tissues is dependent upon pPRLR-LF abundance more so than the local PRL expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism