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Null mutation of the prolactin receptor gene produces a defect in maternal behavior


We have studied pup-directed maternal behavior in mice carrying a germ line null mutation of the PRL receptor (PRLR) gene. Homozygous mutant and heterozygous mutant nulliparous females show a deficiency in pup-induced maternal behavior. Moreover, primiparous heterozygous females exhibit a profound deficit in maternal care when challenged with foster pups. Morris maze studies revealed normal configural learning in the heterozygous and homozygous animals. Eating, locomotor activity, sexual behavior, and exploration (all processes regulated by the hypothalamus) are normal in PRLR mutant mice. Olfactory function was tested in an aversive conditioning paradigm, results indicating that heterozygous and homozygous PRLR mutant mice are not anosmic. These studies clearly establish the PRLR as a regulator of maternal behavior.

Type Journal
ISBN 0013-7227 (Print)
Authors Lucas, B. K.;Ormandy, C. J.;Binart, N.;Bridges, R. S.;Kelly, P. A. :
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Chris Ormandy
Published Date 1998-01-01
Published Volume 139
Published Issue 10
Published Pages 4102-7
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version