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La Rivista Italiana della Medicina di Laboratorio 2022 Jul 21

DOI: 10.23736/S1825-859X.22.00149-9

Copyright © 2022 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Prolactin and infertility

Monica TORELLO 1 , Romolo M. DORIZZI 2

1 U.O. Patologia Clinica, Laboratorio Unico AUSL della Romagna, Pievesestina, Cesena, Italia; 2 SIPMeL, Castelfranco Veneto, Treviso, Italia


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Prolactin (PRL) is a polypetide hormone composed of 199 amino acids with a weight of 23 kDa secreted by the anterior pituitary lactotrophs. Three different forms of prolactin are present in human serum. The monomeric form, biologically and immunologically active, is most representative (about 80% of the total). The inactive or low biological activity dimeric (5-20%) and tetrameric (0.5-5%) forms are also present. Prolactin promotes the development and differentiation of the mammary gland, but high serum concentrations of the hormone have an inhibitory effect on ovarian tissue and pituitary secretion of gonodotropins. The increased production of prolactin in pregnancy and lactation after childbirth is regulated by an increase of oestrogen and testosterone. One of main causes of fertility disorders is hyperprolactinemia. The correct laboratory determination of prolactin plays a necessary role in the diagnosis of amenorrhea, galactorrhoea, gynecomastia and azoospermia, but also in pituitary and breast cancer.


KEY WORDS: Prolactin; Hyperprolactinemia; Macroprolactinemia; Infertility; HAMA; PEG

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