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Grattan Laboratory

Research interests

My group within the Centre for Neuroendocrinology is interested in the neuroendocrine functions of the hormone prolactin, and in particular, the role of prolactin in the neuroendocrine and neurobiological adaptations of the maternal brain.

Specific interests include the control of appetite and body weight during pregnancy and obesity, plasticity in oxytocin neurons during late pregnancy and lactation, and role of prolactin in changes in mood and behaviour in the post-partum period.

Clinical conditions

  • Hyperprolactinaemia
  • Infertility
  • Post-partum anxiety
  • Post-partum depression

List of publications for Dave Grattan (Google Scholar)

Grattan Laboratory staff & students

Jenny Clarkson_webJenny Clarkson, Research Fellow
Neural circuits required for maternal adaptation to pregnancy

Teodora Georgescu_webTeodora Georgescu, Scientific Officer
Cellular actions of prolactin on neurons

Matt Gillett_webMatt Gillett, PhD student

Zin Khant Aung_webZin Khant-Aung, Assistant Research Fellow
Hormonal regulation of metabolism

Pene Knowles_webPene Knowles, Research Technician
Prolactin neuroendocrinology

Ilona Kokay_webIlona Kokay, Honorary Research Fellow
Prolactin receptor expression in the brain

Sharon Ladyman_webSharon Ladyman, Senior Research Fellow
Regulation of energy homeostasis during pregnancy

Chantelle Murrell_webChantelle Murrell, PhD student

Holly Phillipps_webHollian Phillipps, Research Fellow
Prolactin action in adult neurogenesis

Mo Rizwan_webMohammed Rizwan, Research Fellow
Hypothalamic regulation of bodyweight and glucose metabolism

Joe Yip_webJoe Yip, Research Fellow
Plasticity of neuroendocrine dopaminergic neurons and prolactin

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Hassan, M., Grattan, D. R., & Leitch, B. (2023). Developmental inhibitory changes in the primary somatosensory cortex of the stargazer mouse model of absence epilepsy. Biomolecules, 13, 186. doi: 10.3390/biom13010186

Young, C., Grattan, D., & Ladyman, S. (2022). Effect of the Polynesian-specific CREBRF gene variant on lactogenic activity during mouse pregnancy. Proceedings of the joint ESA-SRB-APEG-NZSE Annual Scientific Meeting. 139. Retrieved from

Smiley, K. O., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2022). Prolactin action is necessary for parental behavior in male mice. Journal of Neuroscience. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.0558-22.2022

Khant Aung, Z., Kado, E., Young, C., Grattan, D. R., & Ladyman, S. R. (2022, August). Protective role of a Polynesian-specific variant of CREBRF gene against gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): Mouse model. Verbal presentation at the Metabolic & Cardiovascular Disease Satellite Meeting: Queenstown Research Week, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Grattan, D. R. (2022, August). Hypothalamic Wnt/b-catenin signalling is required for normal metabolic homeostasis. Verbal presentation at the Metabolic & Cardiovascular Disease Satellite Meeting: Queenstown Research Week, Queenstown, New Zealand.