RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Usefulness of recombinant human prolactin for treatment of poor puerperal lactation in a rat model.

Recombinant human prolactin (r-hPRL) was produced by a line of murine C127 cells transfected with human PRL gene. To assess the biological efficacy of r-hPRL in vivo, we studied its influence on milk secretion using a rat model in which lactation was reduced by bromocriptine treatment. Puerperal rats were injected daily for 9 days after delivery with bromocriptine or bromocriptine plus r-hPRL, and lactational performance was assessed by weighing the pups. The concentrations of rat and human PRL in rat serum were measured by specific radioimmunoassays and the mammary glands were examined on postpartum day 10. Daily injection of bromocriptine (0.1 mg/rat) significantly reduced the endogenous level of rat PRL and impaired the weight gain of the pups. Administration of r-hPRL increased the serum level of human PRL. Daily injections of r-hPRL (50 micrograms/rat, twice a day) restored lactational performance and significantly increased the weight of the pups. The detrimental effect of bromocriptine on the mammary glands, assessed by both weight and histological appearance, was reversed by administration of r-hPRL. These results demonstrate that r-hPRL is biologically active in vivo and replacement therapy of r-hPRL is effective in improving the lactational performance in bromocriptine-treated rats, and also that r-hPRL may be useful for the treatment of women with poor lactation.

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