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Fed Proc. 1980 Jun;39(8):2567-70.

Prolactin as a regulator of fluid and electrolyte metabolism in mammals.


The evidence that prolactin is a fluid and electrolyte regulator in mammals is reviewed, with particular emphasis on the renal actions of prolactin. Prolactin receptors are found in mammalian kidneys. Prolactin modulates renal formation of cyclic AMP and polyamines and it leads to demonstrable histological changes in the proximal tubules. The renal actions of prolactin primarily involve modulation of the effects of other hormones and are therefore critically dependent on the background physiological situation. Prolactin seems able to cause a prolonged reduction in water, sodium, and potassium excretion, a pattern that is imitated by no other hormone with the possible exception of growth hormone. Prolactin preparations can cause an acute antidiuresis, which may in part be related to contamination of prolactin preparations with vasopressin. However, most of the described effects cannot be explained by vasopressin contamination. This is particularly so with the effects of prolactin on water movements across fetal skin, the amniotic membrane, and in the eye where prolactin and vasopressin have diametrically opposite effects. It is concluded that prolactin is a regulator of fluid and electrolyte metabolism in mammals but that it is a modulator rather than a primary controlling factor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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