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J Clin Immunol. 1992 May;12(3):210-5.

Hyperprolactinemia inhibits natural killer (NK) cell function in vivo and its bromocriptine treatment not only corrects it but makes it more efficient.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Rheumatology, Instituto Nacional de la Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, México D.F.


We studied NK cell function in eight patients with pathological hyperprolactinemia by measuring 51Cr release by K562 cells exposed to their mononuclear cells and found it decreased compared to normal controls (P less than 0.01). Bromocriptine (BrC) treatment corrected NK function but also made it more efficient at 12:1 than at 25:1 or 50:1 effector:target ratios (ANOVA; P = 0.01). The study of NK cell function in agarose revealed that its decrease in hyperprolactinemia is due to their low active binding to target cells, active killing, and recycling capacity. BrC tended to correct them but also increased recycling capacity to levels higher than those of controls (P less than 0.05). Sequential studies in three hyperprolactinemic patients before and after BrC showed correction of NK function within 1 week but its increased efficiency at the 12:1 effector:target ratio required 8 weeks. We conclude that hyperprolactinemia decreases NK cell function. BrC corrects this by decreasing prolactin levels but also makes NK function more efficient by increasing the capacity of NK cells to recycle after killing.

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