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Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2015 May-Jun;61(3):269-74. doi: 10.1590/1806-9282.61.03.269.

Effects of melatonin and prolactin in reproduction: review of literature.

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Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife, PE, Brazil.
Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


The pineal gland is responsible for producing a hormone called melatonin (MEL), and is accepted as the gland that regulates reproduction in mammals. Prolactin (PRL) also exhibits reproductive activity in animals in response to photoperiod. It is known that the concentrations of PRL are high in the summer and reduced during winter, the opposite of what is seen with melatonin in these seasons. In placental mammals, both prolactin and melatonin affect implantation, which is considered a critical point of pregnancy, since a successful pregnancy requires the development of a synchronous interaction between the endometrium and blastocyst for placental development. It is also known that PRL levels during pregnancy are essential for the maintenance of pregnancy, because this hormone induces the corpus luteum to produce progesterone, in addition to stimulating blastocyst implantation to maintain pregnancy and form the placenta. However, melatonin levels in plasma have also been shown to increase during pregnancy, peaking at the end of this period, which suggests that this hormone plays an important role in the maintenance of pregnancy. Thus, it is clear that treatment with prolactin or melatonin interferes with the processes responsible for the development and maintenance of pregnancy.

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