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 NARRATIVE REVIEW
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 182-187

Regulatory role of prolactin in paternal behavior in male parents: A narrative review


Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Islamic Azad University, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
F Hashemian
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Islamic Azad University, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.186389

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In all mammalian species, a combination of neuroendocrine and experiential factors contributes to the emergence of remarkable behavioral changes observed in parental behavior. Yet, our understanding of neuroendocrine bases of paternal behavior in humans is still preliminary and more research is needed in this area. In the present review, the authors summarized hormonal bases of paternal behavior in both human and nonhuman mammalian species and focused on studies on the regulatory role of prolactin in occurrence of paternal behavior. All peer-reviewed journal articles published before 2015 for each area discussed (parental brain, hormonal bases of maternal behavior, hormonal bases of paternal behavior and the role of prolactin in regulation of paternal behavior in nonhuman mammalian species, hormonal bases of paternal behavior and the role of prolactin in regulation of paternal behavior in humans) were searched by PubMed, Medline, and Scopus for original research and review articles. Publications between 1973 and 2015 were included. Similar to female parents, elevated prolactin levels in new fathers most probably contribute to child-caring behavior and facilitate behavioral and emotional states attributed to child care. Moreover, elevated parental prolactin levels after childbirth decrease the parents' libidos so that they invest more in parental care than in fertility behavior. According to the available clinical studies, elevation in the amounts of prolactin levels after childbirth in male parents are probably associated with paternal behavior observed in humans.






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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
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