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Recent findings on hyperprolactinemia and its pathological implications: a literature review
  1. Zohreh al-sadat Ghoreshi1,
  2. Hamed Akbari1,2,
  3. Mohsen Sharif-zak1,3,
  4. Nasir Arefinia3,
  5. Mojtaba Abbasi-Jorjandi2,
  6. Gholamreza Asadikaram2,3
  1. 1 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Kerman, The Islamic Republic of Iran
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Afzalipur Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, The Islamic Republic of Iran
  3. 3 Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, The Islamic Republic of Iran
  1. Correspondence to Professor Gholamreza Asadikaram, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman 7616914115, Iran (the Islamic Republic of); asadi_ka{at}


The prolactin hormone (PRL) is often secreted by lactotrophic cells of the anterior pituitary and has been shown to play a role in various biological processes, including breast feeding and reproduction. The predominant form of this hormone is the 23 kDa form and acts through its receptor (PRLR) on the cell membrane. This receptor is a member of the superfamily of hematopoietic/cytokine receptors. PRL also has a 16 kDa subunit with anti-angiogenic, proapoptotic, and anti-inflammatory effects which is produced by the proteolytic breakdown of this hormone under oxidative stress. Although the common side effects of hyperprolactinemia are exerted on the reproductive system, new studies have shown that hyperprolactinemia has a wide variety of effects, including playing a role in the development of autoimmune diseases and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, peripartum cardiomyopathy, and diabetes among others. The range of PRL functions is increasing with the discovery of multiple sites of PRL secretion as well as PRLR expression in various tissues. This review summarizes current knowledge of the biology of PRL and its receptor, as well as the role of PRL in human pathophysiology.

  • Pituitary Gland

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  • Contributors GA and Zal-sG contributed to conception. MS, MA-J, and NA contributed significantly to screening and data collection. Zal-sG, HA, and GA contributed significantly to manuscript preparation. HA and GA contributed to supervising and final approval of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.