Prolactin and the control of gonadotrophin secretion in the female

A. S. McNeilly
1980 Reproduction  
It is not intended that this paper should present an exhaustive review of the literature concerning the interaction between prolactin and gonadotrophin release. Rather it is hoped that it will present a more critical analysis of some of the areas where prolactin appears to be involved or at least associated with alterations in the secretion and release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). To this end, it is first necessary to review briefly the hypothalamic
more » ... hypothalamic control of prolactin and gonadotrophin secretion followed by an appraisal of the relationship between prolactin and gonadotrophin secretion during the normal oestrous and menstrual cycle. Finally, consideration will be given to the role of hyperprolactinaemia in gonadotrophin secretion, an area which has recently received much attention. Hypothalamic control of prolactin secretion Many experiments confirm that the major hypothalamic influence over prolactin secretion from the anterior pituitary is inhibitory (see MacLeod & Lehmeyer, 1972; Meites, Simpkins, Bruni & Advis, 1977; Meites, 1977; Lancranjan & Friesen, 1978) . While it was initially expected that the prolactin inhibitory factor (PIF) would be a small peptide, a growing body of evidence supports the concept that the PIF is dopamine. Using histochemical and immunochemical methods, Fuxe, Goldstein, Hökfelt, Lidbrink (1974) and Hökfelt et al. (1975) identified a dopaminergic pathway within the tubero-infundibular neurones which appears to control prolactin secretion. This pathway originates mainly from the arcuate nucleus and the ventral part of the anterior periventricular nucleus and ends in the external layer of the median eminence. Here the dopamine nerve terminals are adjacent to the hypophysial portal capillaries which carry the hypothalamic regulatory factors to the anterior pituitary. Cuts made in the hypothalamus which maintained the tubero-infundibular neurone-median eminence intact but isolated it from the rest of the brain had no effect on serum levels of prolactin, whereas increased secretion of prolactin occurred if this connection was severed
doi:10.1530/jrf.0.0580537 pmid:6776267 fatcat:5c5r7mxw7rgm3esjbnscijlr4e