Intestinal calcium absorption and plasma levels of 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (1,25(OH)2D3) were measured in lactating and non-lactating rats and the effects of bromocriptine and exogenous prolactin treatment were evaluated. In lactating rats calcium absorption and plasma levels of parathyroid hormone, 1,25(OH)2D3 and alkaline phosphatase activity were significantly increased. Bromocriptine treatment significantly reduced the enhanced calcium absorption and levels of plasma 1,25(OH)2D3 and alkaline phosphatase but had no significant effect on plasma levels of parathyroid hormone. Prolactin administered with bromocriptine to lactating animals prevented all the changes observed with bromocriptine treatment alone. It was concluded that the increased plasma levels of prolactin during lactation lead to high plasma levels of 1,25(OH)2D3 which are responsible for the enhanced intestinal calcium absorption.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism