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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Dec 3;39(2):332-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2012.07.005. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

Not only dopamine D2 receptors involved in Peony-Glycyrrhiza Decoction, an herbal preparation against antipsychotic-associated hyperprolactinemia.

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  • 1School of Chinese Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of an herbal preparation called Peony-Glycyrrhiza Decoction (PGD) in alleviating antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia (hyperPRL). In the present study, we further examined the pharmacological action of PGD on prolactin (PRL) secretion using in vitro and in vivo models, with specific attention to the role of dopaminergic mediators and other sex hormones. Treatment with PGD at 1-5mg/ml significantly suppressed PRL secretion and synthesis in MMQ cells, a model of hyperPRL derived from pituitary adenoma cells. The suppressive effects were completely abolished by pretreatment with 10μM haloperidol, a dopamine D(2) receptor antagonist. Consistent with a D(2)-action, PGD did not affect PRL in rat pituitary lactotropic tumor-derived GH3 cells that lack the D(2) receptor expression but significantly increased the expression of D(2) receptors and dopamine transporters (DAT) in PC12 cells. In a rat model of hyperPRL, produced by repeated injection of the dopamine blocker metoclopramide (MCP), chronic PGD (2.5-10g/kg daily) significantly reduced elevated serum PRL. The reduction in magnitude was similar to that elicited by bromocriptine (BMT), a dopamine D(2) receptor agonist currently used for treatment of hyperPRL. Neither PGD nor BMT altered serum estradiol, but PGD reversed decreased serum progesterone to control level, whereas BMT did not. These results indicate that the anti-hyperPRL effects of PGD are associated not only with D(2) receptor and DAT modulation, but also with a normalization of other sex hormone dysfunction. This experimental evidence supports clinical use of PGD as an effective treatment of antipsychotic-induced hyperPRL.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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