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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 May;79(5):430-8.

Prolactin directly stimulates transcellular active calcium transport in the duodenum of female rats.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Prolactin has been postulated to be a novel calcium-regulating hormone during pregnancy and lactation. It stimulates both passive and active duodenal calcium transport in several experimental models. Our study was performed on sexually mature female Wistar rats (200-250 g) to study the direct action of prolactin on calcium transport in the duodenum using the Ussing chamber technique. To evaluate the effect of prolactin on total calcium transport in the duodenum, we intraperitoneally injected rats with 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 mg/kg prolactin. The total calcium transport was divided into voltage-dependent, solvent drag-induced, and transcellular active fluxes by applying short-circuit current and by mucosal glucose replacement with mannitol. The effect of prolactin on each flux was studied separately. Finally, to evaluate the direct action of prolactin on duodenal transcellular active flux, we directly exposed duodenal segments to prolactin that had been added to the serosal solution with or without calcium transport inhibitors. We found that 0.6 and 0.8 mg/kg prolactin ip significantly increased the total mucosa-to-serosa calcium flux from the control value (nmol x hr(-1) x cm(-2)) of 34.53+/-6.81 to 68.07+/-13.53 (P < 0.05) and 84.43+/-19.72 (P < 0.01), respectively. Prolactin also enhanced the solvent drag-induced calcium flux and transcellular active calcium flux, but not the voltage-dependent calcium flux. The duodenal segments directly exposed to 200, 400, and 800 ng/mL prolactin showed a significant increase in the transcellular active calcium absorption in a dose-dependent manner, i.e., from the control value (nmol x hr(-1) x cm(-2)) of 2.94+/-0.47 to 5.45+/-0.97 (P < 0.01), 8.09+/-0.52 (P < 0.001), and 18.42+/-2.92 (P < 0.001), respectively. Its direct action was inhibited by mucosal exposure to 50 microM lanthanum chloride, a calcium transporter protein competitor, and serosal exposure to 0.1 mM trifluoperazine, a Ca2+-ATPase inhibitor. These studies demonstrate that the duodenum is a target organ of prolactin, which enhances transcellular active calcium transport.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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