Papers And Originals

Plasma Prolactin Activity in Inappropriate Lactation

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 24 July 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:225
  1. Isabel A. Forsyth,
  2. G. M. Besser,
  3. C. R. W. Edwards,
  4. Lynn Francis,
  5. Rita P. Myres


    Using a bioassay dependent on the development of a lactogenic response in rabbit mammary tissue cultured in vitro, prolactin distinct from immunoreactive growth hormone has been found in the plasma of patients of both sexes with inappropriate lactation with and without evidence of pituitary tumours. It has also been found in one patient with primary hypothyroidism and galactorrhoea, and in another during chlorpromazine therapy, but not in nine patients with gynaecomastia without galactorrhoea. Plasma prolactin levels were examined in seven patients during oral glucose tolerance tests: no change occurred in the four patients with pituitary tumours, but the levels were suppressed in the three patients with normal pituitary fossae. Prolactin appears to be a distinct pituitary hormone in man, as in animals, and also to be aetiologically related to states of inappropriate lactation.