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Circadian Periodicity of Serum Prolactin Concentration in Man

Br Med J 1972; 3 doi: (Published 02 September 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;3:561
  1. J. Nokin,
  2. M. Vekemans,
  3. M. L'Hermite,
  4. C. Robyn


    Immunoreactive human serum prolactin of pituitary origin has been measured by a radioimmunoassay developed for ovine prolactin. Blood samples were collected at four-hour intervals during a 24-hour period from 12 non-pregnant women, three pregnant women, and seven adult men. A circadian periodicity was found in serum prolactin concentration, with peak values during the night, between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. for the non-pregnant women, and at 5 a.m. for the adult men. Mean serum levels of prolactin were 1·5 times higher in non-pregnant women than in men. In women investigated during the last month of their pregnancy the mean serum prolactin levels were 2·3 times higher than in the non-pregnant women, but there was no circadian periodicity.