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Am J Physiol. 1975 Oct;229(4):1102-9.

Effects of testosterone and prolactin on rat prostatic weight, 5alpha-reductase, and arginase.


Prostatic weights, 5alpha-reductase, and arginase activities were utilized as indexes for the effects of prolactin in short-term experiments in intact, hypophysectomized or castrated rats. Experiments were performed in which a dose-related response in the above parameters was obtained with testosterone administration in castrated mature and immature rats in order to evaluate the effects of simultaneously administered prolactin. This approach was necessitated by the failure of prolactin alone to affect the parameters listed in intact, castrated or hypophysectomized rats. It was shown that ovine prolactin may have an enhancing effect on the prostatic weight, 5alpha-reductase, and arginase activities, but that this effect is neither consistent nor striking when compared to that of testosterone.. Nevertheless, it is still possible that the long-term effects of prolactin, even if they are only of an enhancing quality, may play an important role in normal prostatic physiology and in abnormal states.

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