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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1988;13(4):309-16.

Nipple development and pup-induced prolactin release in male rats treated prenatally with the antiandrogen flutamide.

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Harvard Medical School, Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


While maternal female rats display increases in circulating prolactin (PRL) concentrations in response to pup exposure, parental male rats fail to show such an increase. One possible explanation for the lack of an acute PRL response in parental male rats is that males do not have nipples and therefore do not receive stimuli from the pups comparable to those experienced by parental female rats. To examine the contribution of nipple presence and possible stimulation, i.e. suckling, in this sexually differentiated endocrine response, male rats were exposed from days 12-15 of gestation to the antiandrogen flutamide. As adults, flutamide-exposed males had nipples. These males and a group of control males were castrated in adulthood and treated with a 21-day hormone regimen (estradiol and progesterone) that effectively stimulates parental behavior in adult rats. Following hormone treatment, mammary tissue from one set of flutamide-treated males was examined histologically to assess nipple and mammary gland development and responsiveness of these tissues to hormonal stimulation. Additional sets of flutamide-treated and control animals were tested for parental behavior. These latter animals were implanted with indwelling atrial cannulae on day 4 of parental behavior and subsequently bled on day 6 in the absence of young and on day 8 after presentation of young. PRL concentrations did not change in either the flutamide-treated or control parental males bled in the presence or absence of young.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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