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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1988 Apr;158(4):846-53.

Physicochemical characterization and functional activity of fibroid prolactin produced in cell culture.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington 05405.


Evidence from our laboratory with the use of cultured (primary and passaged) cells has extended our initial observation that human uterine fibroid is an extrapituitary source of prolactin. Fibroid prolactin antigen in conditioned medium reacted specifically in radioimmunoassay for human pituitary prolactin. Control experiments demonstrated that the radioimmunoassay results were not spurious due to degradation of tracer 125I-labeled prolactin. Immunoparallel dilution curves indicated antigenic relatedness of pituitary and fibroid prolactin. In a calibrated Sephadex G-100 column, fibroid prolactin eluted in the same region (20.3 to 20.9 kd) as purified pituitary prolactin. Glycosylated prolactin, detected by concanavalin A affinity column chromatography, appeared to constitute only a small percentage of fibroid prolactin made in culture. The ratio of fibroid prolactin bioactivity (lactogen Nb2 lymphoma bioassay) to antigen (radioimmunoassay) was 0.77. These data indicate that human uterine fibroid tissue produces a molecule similar to or, perhaps, identical with pituitary prolactin.

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