Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2003 Jan 3;299(5603):117-20.

Pregnancy-stimulated neurogenesis in the adult female forebrain mediated by prolactin.

Author information

Genes & Development Research Group, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.


Neurogenesis occurs in the olfactory system of the adult brain throughout life, in both invertebrates and vertebrates, but its physiological regulation is not understood. We show that the production of neuronal progenitors is stimulated in the forebrain subventricular zone of female mice during pregnancy and that this effect is mediated by the hormone prolactin. The progenitors then migrate to produce new olfactory interneurons, a process likely to be important for maternal behavior, because olfactory discrimination is critical for recognition and rearing of offspring. Neurogenesis occurs even in females that mate with sterile males. These findings imply that forebrain olfactory neurogenesis may contribute to adaptive behaviors in mating and pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center