n African Zoology - Changes in the abundance of cells in the anterior pituitary gland and the possible roles of luteinizing hormone, prolactin and progesterone in the control of delayed implantation in the straw-coloured fruit bat ()

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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(Megachiroptera) is a large frugivorous bat found in equatorial and tropical Africa. The reproductive cycle is characterized by a three-month period of delayed implantation and the total length of pregnancy may be as much as 10 months. A histochemical study of the gonadotrophs and mammotrophs of the anterior pituitary, in conjunction with assays of LH-like, progesterone-like and prolactin-like immunoreactivity in the plasma suggest that during delayed implantation the gonadotrophs were inactive while the mammotrophs were active and plasma PRL-like immunoreactivity high. We interpret this as indicating that, in the straw-coloured fruit bat, implantation was inhibited by high levels of prolactin and, as such, the endocrine control of delayed implantation may be quite different from that described for other mammals.

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