Glycoprotein Hormones and Their Common Alpha-Subunit Stimulate Prolactin Production by Explant Cultures of Human Leiomyoma and Myometrium

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the gonadotropins luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and human chorionic gonadotropin on prolactin production by human leiomyomas and myometrium. A secondary goal was to explore the effect of thyroid-stimulating hormone and the alpha-subunit common to all these glycoproteins in the same system.


Explant cultures were established, and harvested medium was assayed for total protein and prolactin. Dose-response studies were performed with follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and human chorionic gonadotropin. A second set of studies was conducted with a single dose of human chorionic gonadotropin, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and alpha-subunit.


Gonadotropins, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and alpha-subunit all stimulated prolactin production in both leiomyoma and myometrium. Prolactin production was significantly higher in leiomyoma than in myometrium. A positive effect of time, dose, and gonadotropin treatment on prolactin production was seen in each tissue. There was no treatment effect on total protein secretion.


All four glycoprotein hormones and their common alpha-subunit stimulate prolactin production. This appears to be a specific effect. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:677-83.)

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