Prolactin (PRL) is a hormone that is best known for its role in initiating and maintaining lactation in mammals. It is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland and controlled by the hypothalamus.
Have questions about a product?
Contact us to learn more about Meridian’s molecular or immunoassay reagent portfolio. We want to hear from you!
Request a Sample
Prolactin is the primary hormone responsible for lactation however it has 300 other wide-ranging functions in the body, from acting on the reproductive system to influencing behavior and regulating the immune system. Its expression is controlled by dopamine and estrogen and having high levels of prolactin in the bloodstream is called hyperprolactinaemia. The most common causes of hyperprolactinaemia include pregnancy, medications that reduce dopamine action in the body, thyroid underactivity and benign pituitary tumors (known as prolactinomas). The condition of having too little prolactin circulating in the blood is called hypoprolactinaemia and it is very rare and can occur in people with pituitary underactivity. Most people with low prolactin levels do not have any specific medical problems, although preliminary evidence suggests they might have reduced immune responses to some infections.
The biologically active form of prolactin is the 23-kDa monomeric polypeptide secreted by the pituitary gland; however, circulating prolactin exists in a number of additional forms. Big prolactin (60 kDa) and macroprolactin (150 kDa), which are present in serum in varying quantities, can cause apparent hyperprolactinemia, but they have no clinical importance because they exhibit little biological activity. Several studies have shown that prolactin two-site sandwich immunoassays are susceptible to interference from macroprolactin. Current best practice recommends that all sera with increased total prolactin concentrations be subfractionated by PEG precipitation to measure the bioactive monomeric prolactin concentration, a more clinically meaningful variable.
Get In Touch With A Specialist
Have questions about a product? Want to learn more about Meridian’s molecular or immunoassay reagent portfolio? We want to hear from you!