Thursday 26 May 2022 4:14pm
A paper in the prestigious journal PNAS on how the hormone prolactin regulates maternal behaviour by acting on specific parts of the brain has scored a publication award for postdoc Dr Teodora Georgescu.
Each year, the Hypothalamic Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology Australasia (HNNA) grouping elects winners for outstanding publications authored by students, postdocs, or PIs. These papers get judged on anticipated future impact, quality and scope of work, and relevance to the HNNA field.
Teodora’s paper titled “Prolactin-mediated restraint of maternal aggression in lactation” and written under supervision by Dr Rosie Brown and Prof Dave Grattan reports that during lactation the high levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood act on neurons in a particular brain area to make the mother less aggressive towards intruders and allows them to concentrate on caring for their offspring. This study is particularly important since up to one in five new mothers struggle with some form of mood disorder. Having a better understanding of how hormones regulate mood and behaviour during pregnancy and in the period after birth will help identify amenable therapeutic targets to treat these women.