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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

Eleni Hackwell_webEleni Hackwell, PhD Student
The role of prolactin in lactational infertility

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

Judith Swart_webJudith Swart, PhD Student
Involvement of the reward circuitry in prolactin’s regulation of maternal behaviour

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

Cameron Young, Honours student

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Gillett, M. L., Grattan, D. R., & Ladyman, S. R. (2022). The role of prolactin in the small intestine during pregnancy and lactation. New Zealand Medical Journal, 135(1557), (pp. 102). Retrieved from

Radecki, K. C., Ford, M. J., Phillipps, H. R., Lorenson, M. Y., Grattan, D. R., Yamanaka, Y., & Walker, A. M. (2022). Multiple Cell Types in the Oviduct Express the Prolactin Receptor. FASEB BioAdvances. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1096/fba.2022-00004

Phillipps, H. R., Khant Aung, Z., & Grattan, D. R. (2022). Elevated prolactin secretion during proestrus in mice: Absence of a defined surge. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.13129

Kamstra, K., Rizwan, M. Z., Grattan, D. R., Horsfield, J. A., & Tups, A. (2022). Leptin regulates glucose homeostasis via the canonical Wnt pathway in the zebrafish. FASEB Journal, 36, e22207. doi: 10.1096/fj.202101764R

Georgescu, T., Khant Aung, Z., Grattan, D. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2022). Prolactin-mediated restraint of maternal aggression in lactation. PNAS, 119(6), e2116972119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2116972119