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Am J Primatol. 1999;47(3):231-9.

Diurnal changes in plasma prolactin during the last one third of pregnancy in the baboon.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 60612, USA. Nguyent@uic.edu

Abstract

Previous studies in our laboratory revealed that daily plasma prolactin (Prl) levels were higher in the evening than in the morning in the pregnant baboon suggesting a diurnal variation. The goal of this study was to examine in more detail the diurnal alterations in plasma Prl levels. A tethered pregnant baboon model was utilized for these studies. Hourly venous blood samples were taken from 0700 to 2400 hr (n=10) or until 0700 hr the following day (n=5). The studies were performed at various days of pregnancy from day 135 until delivery. Plasma samples were analyzed for Prl by radioimmunoassay. A surge in plasma Prl was detected, starting around 1500 to 1600 hr and lasting for 3 to 5 hr. The surge occurred before the lights went off in the colony (1800 hr). Baseline Prl levels were higher in animals < 15 days before delivery compared to those > 15 days before delivery (P < 0.05). In contrast, no differences were found in the average peak Prl values between these two groups of animals. In summary, in the pregnant baboon during the last one-third of pregnancy plasma Prl surges, beginning around 1500 to 1600 hr and lasting for 3 to 5 hr. Less than 15 days before delivery the mean baseline Prl levels are higher compared to animals greater than 15 days before delivery.

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