Adult female mammary glands go through extensive tissue remodeling during pregnancy, lactation and after the weaning of the neonates. Here we characterize mammary gland morphology of adult females of Lagostomus maximus, a hystricomorph rodent with a pseudo-ovulatory event at mid-gestation, and describe how the glandular tissue changes its architecture in response to variations of the hormonal environment. At mid-gestation, pseudo-ovulation is seen as an essential event increasing the number of secondary corpora lutea and thus rising the circulating levels of progesterone that help to maintain pregnancy to term. As a side effect, mammary gland development is favored early during the long-lasting pregnancy of L. maximus, preparing females for the nutritional need of fully developed pups in this k-strategist species.
Part of the book: Current Topics in Lactation