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Regul Pept. 2003 Jun 15;114(1):1-5.

Prolactin-releasing peptides.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Science, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 1402 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.


Physiologic control of prolactin (PRL) secretion is largely dependent upon levels of dopamine accessing the adenohypophysis via the hypophysial portal vessels. However, it is clear that other factors of hypothalamic origin can modulate hormone secretion in the absence or presence of dopamine. Several neuropeptides have been identified as PRL releasing factors (PRFs) but none of these peptides appears to be a major determinant of PRL secretion in vivo. There remain uncharacterized activities in hypothalamic extracts that can alter secretion and production of the hormone. In addition, there exist a wide variety of substances (neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, neuropeptides) that can act within the hypothalamus to modify the neuroendocrine regulation of PRL secretion. These factors may not be considered true PRFs because their actions are not exerted directly at the level of the lactotroph; however, they can act in brain to stimulate PRL release in vivo and therefore might be considered PRL releasing peptides (PRPs).

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