The neuroendocrine control of prolactin (PRL) secretion is known lo be a multifactorial process, but dopamine (DA) secreted by the Tuberainfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurons of the hypothalamus is believed to exert a predominant inhibitory control on the secretion of PRL. The secretory activity of the TIDA neurons, including the rate of biosynthesis of DA and the rate of release of the neurohormone into hypophysial portal blood, can be readily evaluated in the rat. In most conditions in which an altered secretion of PRL has been documented, an altered secretory activity of the TIDA neurons has been found. When an acute reduction in the secretion of DA is observed, an increased secretion οf PRL is associated, with an inverse relationship between DA and PRL concentrations in hypophysial portal and systemic blood, respectively. However. the secretion of PRL can be regulated by PRL itself through stimulation of the secretory activity of the TIDA neurons, and consequently hyperprolaclinemia can be observed concomitantly with a sustained high secretion of DA. as seen after treatment with estrogen. The short loop feedback of PRL secretion seems to be impaired in the aging rat, since a sustained reduced hypothalamic secretion of DA is observed in spite of long-term hyperprolaclinemia.
- Hypophysial portal vasculature
- Tuberainfundibular dopaminergic neurons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism