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Exp Anim. 2001 Jul;50(4):307-12.

Prolactin levels and maternal behavior induced by ultrasonic vocalizations of the rat pup.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Animal Science, Nippon Veterinary and Animal Science University, 1-7-1 Kyonan-cho, Musashino-shi, Tokyo 180-8602, Japan.


The relationship among ultrasonic vocalization (USV), prolactin and maternal behavior was investigated in lactating rat mothers and their pups. The lactating mother had a cannula inserted into the external jugular vein, and was exposed to USVs emitted from a pup immediately. Changes of prolactin and maternal behavior were determined. Prolactin increased dramatically during exposure to USVs, when maternal search, retrieving and nest building behavior appeared significantly. These results suggested that the relationship among USV, prolactin and maternal behavior was included in communication between lactating mother and pup.

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