Prolactin hormone molecule. Computer model showing the secondary structure of human prolactin (hPRL), or luteotropic hormone (LTH). Hydrogen bonding is shown by alpha helices (ribbons) and random coils (wires). PRL is primarily associated with lactation (milk production). It is synthesised and secreted by lactotrope cells in the anterior pituitary gland of the brain, as well as other tissues including the breast, and the central nervous system. During breastfeeding, suckling of the nipple stimulates the production of PRL, which triggers milk production. The breast then fills with milk via a process called lactogenesis.
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