Karolinska InstitutetPregnancy and motherhood seems to extract a lot of energy from women. Well, scientists have apparently found a system for controlling a hormone called prolactin. The findings of the study from Karolinska Institutet are believed to be vital for conditions and functions like breast-feeding, sexual libido and metabolism.

The hormone, prolactin, is believed to be discharged from the pituitary gland in the brain and claims to be the indication that may activate breast milk production while nursing. The rationale that women usually do not generate milk and men never do is that the secretion of prolactin may be powerfully withdrawn by the signal substance dopamine. This could be released by cells called ‘TIDA’ neurons in the hypothalamus in the brain.

A research group at Karolinska Institutet has apparently for the first time examined the electrical activity of the dopamine-generating TIDA cells. This was done, so as to comprehend in more depth about the controlling of prolactin. The research seems to have displayed that the cells may usually exhibit a tremendously rhythmical activity, with secretions every 20 seconds. The researchers are of the opinion that this rhythmical behavior could lie behind the capability of the TIDA cells to operate as a sturdy inhibitor of prolactin release.

Christian Broberger, who led the study, commented, “It is known that rhythmical signalling makes it possible for nerve cells to release large quantities of signal substances.”

The research has also supposedly illustrated that TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone), a signal matter that is identified to fuel the discharge of prolactin, may break off the rhythmical signalling pattern of TIDA cells.

Prolactin appears to play significant functions in reproduction and fertility, one of which may be reduction of sexual libido. Prolactin is believed to be secreted during orgasm. It is alleged that prolactin could be important for metabolism, as patients with high levels of prolactin may become obese.

Levels of prolactin may frequently increase in patients who seem to be treated with dopamine inhibitors for psychotic disorders. And these patients could frequently undergo loss of libido and occasional generation of breast milk as undesired effects.

The research was published in the Journal Neuron.