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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Melatonin effects on prolactin secretion in pituitary-grafted male rats.

Melatonin influences prolactin ( PRL) secretion through unknown mechanisms. This work was undertaken to study the effects of melatonin administration on PRL secretion in pituitary-grafted male rats. Melatonin administration 5 hours before dark resulted in a marked decrease of previously high basal plasma PRL levels in pituitary-grafted rats, whereas a marked increase was detected in sham-operated animals. Vehicle treatment did not modify basal PRL values in grafted or sham-operated animals. Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) administration resulted in a marked decrease of plasma PRL levels in vehicle-treated, sham-operated or grafted rats, as well as in melatonin-treated sham-operated rats. An increase in PRL levels was shown in grafted rats treated with melatonin. Estradiol benzoate (EB) administration resulted in an increase in plasma PRL levels both in sham-operated and grafted vehicle-treated rats. No PRL response could be detected in sham-operated, melatonin-treated animals after EB administration. In pituitary-grafted animals given melatonin, PRL response to EB administration was slight and delayed. From these data, melatonin appears to modify PRL secretion through multiple complex mechanisms that may depend on the physiological status (hormonal and neurotransmitter) of the animals. A direct effect at the pituitary level altering lactotroph sensitivity seems to be one plausible explanation for the current findings, although an hypothalamic site of action cannot be excluded.[1]


  1. Melatonin effects on prolactin secretion in pituitary-grafted male rats. Villanua, M.A., Agrasal, C., Tresguerres, J.A., Vaughan, M.K., Esquifino, A.I. J. Pineal Res. (1989) [Pubmed]
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