Adipokines affect mammary growth and function in farm animals.


Palin, M.F., Farmer, C., Duarte, C.R.A. (2017) Adipokines affect mammary growth and function in farm animals. Triennal Lactation Symposium and Biology of Lactation of Farm Animals. BOLFA Symposium: The Biology of Lactation - From Genes to Cells to Milk Baltimore, MD, USA, July 8th. (Invited Speaker).


The essential role of mammary fat pads in mammary growth and morphogenesis was the first indication that biologically active molecules, secreted from adipocytes or other stromal cells, could regulate endocrine cues for growth and function of the mammary gland. The presence of leptin and adiponectin receptors in mammary tissues suggested that locally produced or circulating adipokines could affect mammary growth and function. Herein, we present the current knowledge on the role of adipokines in mammary cell proliferation and differentiation and in lactogenesis and galactopoiesis in farm animals. We also address the role of milk adipokines in the neonate. Accumulating evidence suggests that adipokines could act as metabolic sensors, regulating mammary growth and function in periods of metabolic adaptations such as late pregnancy and early lactation. Indeed, different experiments reported that adiponectin and leptin expression varies according to physiological stages and nutritional status of the animal. The current review also demonstrates that adipokines, such as leptin and adiponectin, are important regulators of the action of lactogenic hormones in the mammary gland. Findings also suggest important roles for adipokines in growth and intestinal maturation of the neonate.

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