Prolactin, serum and plasma
Serum, Sodium/Lithium Heparin / Potassium EDTA plasma
Human prolactin (hPRL) is a single chain polypeptide of 199 amino acids and a molecular weight of approximately 23,000 daltons Prolactin is produced by the anterior pituitary and its secretion is regulated physiologically by inhibitory 3 and releasing factors of the hypothalamus. Prolactin appears in the blood promptly after administration of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). The major physiologic action of prolactin is the initiation and maintenance of lactation in women. Hyperprolactinemia has been established as a common cause of infertility and gonadal disorders in men and women. Prolactin has been shown to inhibit the secretion of ovarian steroids and to interfere with follicle maturation 7 and the secretion of LH and FSH in the human female. Measurement of elevated serum prolactin levels may provide the first quantitative evidence of pituitary dysfunction. Quantitation of prolactin levels is also of interest in the evaluation and management of patients with amenorrhea and galactorrhea.
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