Prolactin: Fishy tales of its primary regulator and function

Tatsuya Sakamoto, Aiko Oda, Kenji Narita, Hideya Takahashi, Takuji Oda, Jun Fujiwara, Waichiro Godo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Prolactin (PRL) is an important regulator of multiple biological functions, and the control of PRL expression integrates a wide spectrum of molecules throughout vertebrates. PRL-releasing peptide (PrRP) seems to be an essential stimulator of PRL transcription and secretion in teleost pituitary and peripheral organs. In the amphibious euryhaline mudskipper, the localization of mRNA levels of PrRP and PRL as well as their regulation during acclimation to different environments are closely related. The presence of PrRP-PRL axes in the peripheral organs might suggest an ancient history of this axis prior to the evolution of the hypothalamus-pituitary, and it is possible that the PrRP is an original and primary regulator of PRL. In the euryhaline fishes, the permeability of gut of seawater-acclimated fish is generally greater than that of the freshwater (FW)-acclimated fish. The modification in the epithelial cell renewal system may play an important role in regulation of the permeability. PRL induces the cell proliferation during FW acclimation, whereas cortisol stimulates both cell proliferation and apoptosis. Indeed, a large proportion of the various actions of PRL seem to be associated directly or indirectly with cell proliferation and/or apoptosis, which might be a primary function of PRL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-188
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Apoptosis
  • Brain
  • Cell proliferation
  • Cortisol
  • Differentiation
  • Growth hormone
  • Gut
  • Hypothalamus-pituitary
  • Neuroscience
  • Osmoregulation
  • Prolactin
  • Prolactin-releasing peptide
  • Teleost fish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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