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A lactotropic cell (also known as prolactin cell, epsilon acidophil, lactotrope, lactotroph, mammatroph, mammotroph) is a cell in the anterior pituitary which produces prolactin in response to hormonal signals including dopamine which is inhibitory and thyrotropin-releasing hormone which is stimulatory. Other regulators include oxytocin, estrogen and progesterone.

Prolactin cell
Details
SystemEndocrine system
LocationAnterior pituitary gland
FunctionProlactin production
Identifiers
MeSHD052682
THH3.08.02.2.00022
Anatomical terms of microanatomy

Prolactin is involved in the maturation of mammary glands and their secretion of milk in association with oxytocin, estrogen, progesterone, glucocorticoids, and others. Prolactin has numerous other effects in both sexes.

Prolactin cells are acidophilic by hematoxylin & eosin stains and comprise about 20% of all cells in the anterior pituitary gland. If these cells undergo neoplastic transformation, they will give rise to a prolactinoma, a prolactin-secreting pituitary adenoma.

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