Synonyms: Galactin; Galactina; Hormona lactogénica; Hormona luteotrópica; Lactoestimulina; Lactogen; Lactogenic Hormone; Lactógeno; Lactotropin; LMTH; LTH; Luteomammotropic Hormone; Luteotrophic Hormone; Luteotropin; Luteotropina; Mammotropin; Mamotropina; Prolactina.
Cyrillic synonym: Пролактин.


Prolactin is a water-soluble protein from the anterior pituitary; it is structurally related to growth hormone. In animals, prolactin has many actions and is involved in reproduction, parental care, feeding of the young, electrolyte balance, and growth and development. In humans it has a definite role in inducing milk production; oxytocin stimulates milk ejection. Relatively high concentrations of prolactin have been found in amniotic fluid. Placental lactogen has been shown to have prolactin-like activity. Prolactin secretion is stimulated by suckling and, for a few months after delivery, it has an inhibitory effect on the ovaries, acting as a natural contraceptive. The hypothalamus can both stimulate and inhibit prolactin secretion by the anterior pituitary; the inhibitory influence is predominant and is mediated through a dopaminergic system. Dopamine binds to the lactotrope D2 receptor to inhibit prolactin synthesis and release. Noradrenaline and gamma-aminobutyric acid are also inhibitory as are dopaminergic drugs such as bromocriptine. Although protirelin has prolactin-releasing activity, there is evidence for the existence of a separate hypothalamic releasing factor (PRF). Prolactin secretion may also be stimulated by methyldopa, metoclopramide, reserpine, opioid analgesics, and phenothiazine or butyrophenone antipsychotics. Prolactin has been given by intramuscular injection in the management of lactation disorders and some forms of menstrual disturbance.
Published November 10, 2018.