Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Jul;21(7):395-401. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Is prolactin the cardinal calciotropic maternal hormone?

Author information

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.


To produce offspring, mothers require a large amount of calcium for fetal growth and milk production. Increased calcium demand leads to enhanced intestinal calcium absorption and stockpiling of bone calcium in pregnancy prior to demineralization in lactation. These coordinated events must be carefully organized by calciotropic hormone(s), but the classical hormones, namely 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3), parathyroid hormone and calcitonin, do not appear to be responsible. Plasma prolactin (PRL) levels are elevated during pregnancy and, in view of the presence of PRL receptors in gut, bone and mammary glands, as well as recent evidence of the stimulatory effects of PRL on intestinal calcium transport, bone resorption and mammary calcium secretion, we postulate that PRL is the cardinal calciotropic hormone during pregnancy and lactation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center