Human prolactin release induced by follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and human chorionic gonadotrophin

P. G. Crosignani, M. Carina Maini, E. Negri, G. Ragni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plasma prolactin levels rise in stimulated cycles. To clarify the effects of gonadotrophin on the lactotrophs, three studies were performed. First, plasma concentrations of prolactin during clomiphene citrate (CC)-human menopausal gonadotrophin (HMG)-human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) treatment of women enrolled for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) were compared with those during HMG-HCG administration while under pituitary suppression with a gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue (buserelin). Women suppressed with buserelin had higher basal levels of PRL in plasma (14.4 ± 4.3 ng/ml versus 6.9 ± 1.4 ng/ml, P <0.001). Only buserelin-suppressed women showed a significant rise in plasma prolactin before HCG administration, while both patient groups had marked prolactin peaks after HCG injection. This peak was higher in the buserelin group (71.9 ± 50.7 ng/ml versus 52.6 ± 29.7 ng/ml). The second study showed that plasma levels of prolactin of 6 postmenopausal women were significantly increased 48 h after an injection of 5000 IU HCG, i.m. (24.9 ± 17.4 ng/ml versus 12.4 ± 6.2 ng/ml P <0.05). Third, plasma prolactin was studied in 5 women over 30 days after surgical castration. An upward trend was observed similar to that of endogenous gonadotrophin, with the change in prolactin values closely correlating with the change in concentrations of follicule stimulating hormone (P <0.005). All these findings suggest that human gonadotrophins stimulate lactotrophs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1070-1073
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Rehabilitation


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