2003 Volume 49 Issue 6 Pages 465-472
In this study, we attempted to examine the presence of prolactin (PRL) messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) and protein in the mouse nipple and mammary gland in pregnancy and lactation. PRL-like substances were found by immunohistochemistry using an antibody against the mouse PRL (mPRL) in the sebaceous gland cells of the nipple during late pregnancy and lactation, and the cistern of alveoli in mammary glands during lactation. Western blot analysis of proteins extracted from the nipple and the mammary gland showed immunoreactive bands corresponding to molecular weights of approximate 16 kDa and 32 kDa, respectively. The expression of mRNA for mPRL in the nipple and mammary gland during late pregnancy and lactation was demonstrated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Southern blotting, and nucleotide sequence analyses. These results suggest that mPRL mRNA and its translation product are synthesized in the mouse nipple.