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Neuroimmunomodulation. 2004;11(3):133-40.

Pharmacological hyperprolactinemia attenuates hydrocortisone-induced expression of CD11b on human CD8+ cells in vivo.

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Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia.



To study the short-term influences of pharmacologic hyperprolactinemia on hydrocortisone (HC)-induced effects on selected immune parameters.


A single dose of HC (40 mg per os) was administered to eleven healthy female volunteers 1 h after domperidone (10 mg per os) or placebo administration. Immune cell subsets and expression of adhesion molecules was assessed by flow cytometry at baseline and 4 and 6 h after HC administration. Intracellular staining of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production in CD4+ lymphocytes after phorbol myristate acetate and ionomycin stimulation was performed at the same time points.


HC administration was followed by a significant increase in cortisol levels, numbers of leukocytes and granulocytes and the percentage of CD16+, CD19+, CD11a+, CD11a+CD8+, CD11b+ and CD11b+CD8+ cells. The number of lymphocytes and monocytes and the percentage of CD3+, CD4+, CD4+/CD8+ ratio, CD62L+, CD54+ and CD54+CD16+ cells decreased, while the percentage of CD8+ cells was unaffected. Domperidone administration resulted in a significant increase in prolactin (PRL) concentrations. During hyperprolactinemia, the HC-induced increase in CD11b+CD8+ cells was significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated at 4 h. HC-induced changes in other immune parameters remained unaffected. No significant changes in the intracellular production of IL-4 and IFN-gamma in CD4+ lymphocytes were observed after a single dose of HC alone or during hyperprolactinemia.


This study shows an attenuated HC-induced increase in CD11b+CD8+ cells in the peripheral blood of healthy females during hyperprolactinemia. Our in vivo observations suggest that short-term interactions occur between PRL and glucocorticoids, affecting selected immune functions. Further studies are needed for confirmation of these results.

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